HISTORY / ARCHITECTURE
The Historical Journey of the Altes Museum Berlin
The Altes Museum is the first museum in Berlin. Therefore, this museum located on Museum Island is also the island's first museum. The Berlin Altes Museum, one of the most important examples of Neoclassical architecture, was built by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel between 1823 and 1830.
Until the 20th century, the Altes Museum shaped the history of museums. Due to its witness to the social and architectural development of museums, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. It is surrounded by the Berlin Cathedral to the east, the Berlin Palace to the south, and the Zeughaus to the west.
Initially created for all art collections in Berlin, the Altes Museum has housed the Classical Antiquities Collection since 1904.
The building was heavily damaged and burned between 1943 and 1945, but it was reconstructed in 1966.
The Altes Museum Berlin Building's Architectural Side
The old name of the Altes Museum is the Royal Museum. It was built in 1830, next to Lustgarten, according to the plans of Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
The Altes Museum, possessing a majestic and meaningful architectural structure: The monumental order of the 18 fluted Ionic columns, the wide vestibule, the rotunda - an explicit reference to the Roman pantheon - and finally the flight of stairs are architectural elements that until then were reserved only for stately buildings.
In terms of its location, the Altes Museum added art as a fourth element to the open rectangle consisting of politics (Berlin Palace), military (Arsenal), and church (Berlin Cathedral) in the region.
Your visit will give you the feeling of embarking on a historical journey under the blue dome of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's ceiling design.
The Altes Museum's Collections (Permanent Exhibition)
The Altes Museum, built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, was designed to house the city's fine arts collection, including old favorite paintings, drawings, prints, and the Numismatic Collection on Museum Island in Berlin. In 1904, the museum housed only the Classical Antiquities Collection, but since 1966, also it has been used as a contemporary art museum.
Since 2010, important works of Etruscan and Roman art have been kept here, and since 2011, it has also been used for Greek Art exhibitions.
Let's get to know these three collections more closely!
1. Antikensammlung (Antiquities Collection):
The exhibition is divided chronologically. In this section, you will see stone sculptures, vases, craft objects, jewelry made of gold and silver, precious stones, pottery, and clay tablets. These artworks showcase the art and archaeology of the Etruscans (the world's largest collection after Italy can be found in the Altes Museum) and the Roman Empire (including valuable artifacts like the Hildesheim silver find and portraits of Caesar and Cleopatra).
In this section of the museum, the oldest coins made of electrum (a gold and silver alloy) dating back to the 7th century BC and coins from the late 3rd century AD from the crisis years of the Roman Empire are displayed.
The Altes Museum houses more than 1300 coins.
Highlights of the collection
- Portraits busts of Caesar and Cleopatra
- The second-largest Etruscan art collection after Italy
- Collection of more than 1300 coins
- Coffins and sculptures
- Treasure chest containing valuable jewelry
Altes Museum Berlin Tickets & Tours
- Visit the Alte Museum and experience a journey through time into classical antiquity
- Marvel at the monumental columns and a rotunda inspired by the Pantheon
- Discover ancient sculptures
- Immerse yourself in the art and culture of the Greeks, Etrusans and Romans
- Explore the coin cabinet with its antique coins
- Receive 72 hours free access to the city's public transport system
- Take advantage of discounts at many tourist attractions, venues, and events
- Explore the Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie and Neues Museum
- Enjoy free entrance to all the museums on Berlin's Museum Island
- Explore a collection of some of the finest examples of European classical antiquities in a spectacular Neoclassical building
- Admire the craftsmanship and beauty of works of art from the Greek and Roman empires - including the portraits of Cleopatra and her lover Julius Caesar
- The Münzkabinett (Coin Cabinet) has over 1,400 coins from the 7th century BCE to the 3rd century CE - plus medals from the 15th century and historic seals from the Middle Ages. Cha-ching!
- Admission once a day to Museums of Museum Island (extra charges may apply for special exhibitions)
- Free CityGuide including a city map
- Public transportation ticket for 72 hours (zones AB or ABC, depending on option selected)
- Discounts of up to 50% at many partner attractions
- Get discounts at numerous attractions and get discounts on restaurants, city tours, attractions, museums, etc. with the Berlin WelcomeCard.
- Take advantage of hassle-free transport in Berlin AB or ABC zones.
- Explore sights such as Madame Tussauds and the TV tower, which are a must-visit in Berlin.
- Get 25-50% discount on all attractions, museums, boat trips, restaurants, etc.
- You will also be given a city guide (including a map) in English and German.
- The Berlin WelcomeCard also gives you exclusive access to the five museums on Berlin’s Museum Island.
Plan Your Visit to the Altes Museum Berlin
Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin
Getting to Altes Museum Berlin
- U-Bahn: Museum Island (Museumsinsel) (U5)
- S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt
- Tram: Am Kupfergraben, Hackescher Markt
- Bus: State Opera, Lustgarten, Friedrichstraße
- Mon closed
- Tue: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
- Wed: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
- Thu: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
- Fri: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
- Sat: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
- Sun: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm
Things to Know Before Visiting the Altes Museum Berlin
Frequently Asked Questions About Altes Museum in Berlin
The Altes Museum is renowned for being the first building of both Berlin and Museum Island. It was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and is one of the most captivating architectural structures in Berlin. It houses numerous artworks from the Greek, Roman, and Etruscan periods, even hosting the second-largest Etruscan art collection after Italy.
The Altes Museum, built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, houses the city's fine arts collection, including old favorite paintings, drawings, prints, and the Numismatic Collection on Museum Island in Berlin. Important works of Etruscan and Roman art are kept here, and Greek Art is also exhibited. >> Read More about Altes Museum
The Altes museum building was built between 1823 and 1830 by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the neoclassical style to house the Prussian royal family's art collection. It was designed to showcase various art pieces, including old favorite paintings, drawings, prints, and the Numismatic Collection. The museum also houses important artworks from the Etruscan and Roman periods, as well as Greek art. >> More Details about History of Altes Museum
The Altes Museum, built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel from 1823 to 1830, is one of Europe's important museum buildings with a wide and orderly staircase and an elegant rotunda modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.