A Travellerspoint blog

"is now in a relationship with the state museums of berlin"


sunny 15 °F


As you may have been aware, my camera suffered an extremely tragic accident two weeks ago and died an extremely tragic death.
so yeah um i have been getting in touch with my ~historical side~ yet again, with the power of my super-tiny scrapbooky sketchbooky thing.
It's actually kind of a fun challenge - before the invention of portable cameras, how did people record their memories or put things down to share what they had seen with others?
My art skillz are not the highest, but even just trying to get down the dynamic wavy lines of a 16th century statue of Meleager is enough to remind me why I liked it so much. Trying to think of the most evocative or accurate description of scenes or art also forces you to pay much closer attention to it yourself. So, in the absence of pictures of cool stuffs:
rubbings of super awesome antique flea market buttons, ancient greek marble bust of athena, angel imploring sassy Paris from a 500 BCE greek vase, the bode museum (prettiest exterior of museuminsel tbqh), meleager sculpture had the most fluid lines; blah blah dynamic but it was really striking, worlds colliding poster (berlin: bastion of kpop fans; who knew?), hand and snake from massive marble sculpture i think of antinous? idk I've been really into hands this trip, not sure why
in museums i'm forced to sit down a lot because of my ankle, and in the boonies i have muuucho time to kill alone in the internet/tv-less flat, so woo! practice time!

There are over 70 museums in Berlin! Many of them are super-cool, busting out the ancient artifacts stolen from other cultures, old artifacts from their own, er, exciting historical cultures, and other groovy stuffs!

They are also, unlike London, very much not free:

Altes Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Neues Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Neues National Gallery, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Pergamon Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €15

Uhhh…Berlin, wowzas there. I’m in Berlin; it’s not like I can just be an hour away from the Ishtar Gate and not go. I was opening and closing my wallet as my soul cried, and finally resolved to do the sweet deal ticket where you get admission to ALL THE MUSEUMS for €20 – but only for three consecutive days. Bonus: they are only open 10am-6pm. Helpful! The Pergamon has a special exhibition on I thought might be cool to see – a reconstruction of the ancient city of Pergamon painted as a humongus cylindrical panorama – so I resolved to pay the €15 and just spend ALL DAY INSIDE getting my money’s worth gosh darn it.

Let’s take a moment here to impress upon you that one of my clearest surviving memories of my first visit to Berlin many moons ago is of the absolutely mental line to get into the Pergamon. The museum opens at 10:00, and by 9am there is a line at least two blocks long snaking out from the front entrance (clearly visible from the S-Bahn so commuters can laugh daily at the tourists’ pain).

So, woke up sehr fruh in the morgen and took the hour ride into the city ready to bite the bullet, wait my time, pay the big bucks, and knock one off my extensive list. I bought the best kaffeelatte ever from the snack stand at the S-Bahn station (seriously, the stand is tiny and super-ghetto and the coffee should taste like crap; they have to be putting drugs or something in this thing) and a big German pretzel, and I was READY TO ROCK IT.

The line, predictably, was three and a half blocks by the time I got there, and by 11:00am the timed tickets they were issuing were all set to let my section of the line into the museum at 3pm. Because four hours in line and three in the museum sounds swell!! The couple behind me were from Spain so I had super handy buddies when the girl went to do reconnaissance and find out what was up – turns out you can buy tickets to any of the Museum Insel museums at any one museum on the island, ie tickets to the Pergamon can be purchased at the Altes Museum, which also has a line, but just one block long. If you were willing to miss out on seeing the immersive panorama exhibit, you could skip the line, buy a ticket somewhere else, and bust in 15 minutes later. COMPELLING ARGUMENT.


Altes Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Neues Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Alte Nationalgalerie, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Pergamon Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €15
Bode Museum, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Neue Nationalgalerie, one-day single-entry ticket: €8
Gemaldegallerie, one-day single-entry ticket: €8

Student Membership to Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, with unlimited entry to all museums for one year: ===€20===

lol you guys I bought that thing feeling like the polizei were going to leap out of a Grecian urn at any moment and haul me off for committing highway robbery against Berlin museums; €20 FOR ALL OF THEM FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR
I got a totally sweet membership card that I have been entering and exiting museums at random just to be able to flash at the door guards and receive envious stares from three-block entrance lines (so far the Pergamon and Bode have been most satisfying; “Oh they’ve been in line for four hours don’t worry about it here’s your free audioguide c’mon in”).


Come with me now on a mini-journey into the wonders of MuseumInsel!

more amazing greek action:

Left: This sculpture is perfectly balanced to rest on only one contact point – the minotaur’s left knee. The result is kind of astounding; it looks like it’s floating and has amazing forward kinetic energy.

Right: oh it’s another bust of Alexander the Great. lookin’ good as usual bro! especially for 2000 years old! Guess what though, despite being worshipped as a god in Greece (this one’s from Priene) you are forever alone for all time because there are no surviving Hephaestions ever anywhere in the entire world even though you tried to deify him as the central god of a worldwide religious cult! I know, dude. Sucks.

You who follow my blog may recognize the ANCIENT BOYFRIENDS BOWL:
Official title: Achilles binds the wounds of Patrocles, Greek, circa 500 BCE
Ever-popular, I would estimate 95% of all the books on Greek pottery sold by the gift shop used this baby as the cover. I mean, ancient boyfriends are great, but it turns out this is an amazingly unique and fabo specimen for myriad reasons!
- they don’t know who made/painted this bowl, which is actually unusual (many vases and bowls are clearly signed by the artist). this is too bad, because this artist was kicking illustrative ass and taking names:
- it’s a rare/early example of eyes being depicted realistically in true profile. one of the first! go skilled artist!
- there is noooo mention of a scene like this in canon (you know, The Iliad). guys this bowl is the ff.net of the ancient world. the artist totally just invented it. go imaginative artist!
- stylistically, the bowl is really unique: virtually every depiction of Achilles and Patrocles ever is super-heroic (in battle, killing stuff, standing commandingly and looking fierce, etc). the museum’s rapturous image description was once again lol-tasticly hyperbolic, waxing poetic on Patrocles’ expression of agony and dramatically splayed limbs in the gentleness of this private moment blah blah blah, but it’s true: it’s unlike any other bowl or vase in the collection. go creative artist!

So, the Altes Nationalgalerie. I think? Or maybe Neues, I get them confused. Anyway. I actually haven’t spent much time inside BECAUSE I CAN GO BACK ANY DAMN TIME I WANT HA but seriously check this stuff out:

OKAY IS THAT NOT THE CREEPIEST FREAKING THING. These are actually only half of a set of four (the other two are equally delightful!!) which are supposed to depict ‘After Death’. Okay!
I love these for the visceral reaction they provoke amidst so many placid, flat expressions (I love you historical art, but man lively depictions of saints where are you) but YIKES
I mean, nightmare fuel here; these give me legitimate heeby-jeebies. The fourth carving is supposed to be in opposition to the rest, depicting the rapturous everlasting joy of a sin-free afterlife. Amusingly (sastisfyingly?), it is just as creepily horrifying as the rest, ha.

Also cheery! Maybe we are seeing why I have not spent much time in this museum?

Posted by dodie.does 12:47 Archived in Germany Tagged art museums berlin

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