Putting in my Time at Berlin’s Fanciest Museums

Berlin is PACKED with fancy museums, which are well-worth going to. They are however, expensive, especially if you’re not a student, or like me, your student ID expired back in September without you realizing or noticing until the not-entirely-friendly ticket-seller at the Gemäldegalerie pointed it out to you while gouging you for the full-price ticket. Now, don’t get me wrong, the fantastic-ness of Berlin’s museums is well worth the cost in nearly all cases (except for one, which I’ll get to in a minute). And I was extremely fortunate that the first day I arrived happened to be a big deal event in the city called the Long Night of Museums or Lange Nacht der Museen, when many, many of Berlin’s best and brightest museums were open until 5am with a seriously discounted admission price. So through this stroke of luck I got to visit the Pergamon Museum and the Bode Museum on the cheap: 

Pergamon Altar! and no, I didn't somehow manage to take a picture of the back of my own head, though I fit right in with all the blonds in Germany
Pergamon Altar! and no, I didn’t somehow manage to take a picture of the back of my own head, though I fit right in with all the blonds in Germany
So much drama.
So much drama.
Not too shabby
Not too shabby, Market Gate!
there's stuff like this here in Rome, but in the context of the city it seems normal. Inside another building on the other hand, it seems unreal
there’s stuff like this here in Rome, but in the context of the city it seems normal. Inside another building on the other hand, it seems unreal
Ishtar Gate! Holy crap!
Ishtar Gate! Holy crap!
Lions! Rawr!
Lions! Rawr!

I have been to London, Paris, Rome (obviously), Vienna, and New York (among others) and to museums in them all, but I have to say that the Pergamon Museum might just be the greatest museum I’ve ever see. Where else (and if there actually are places like this, please tell me!!) do they have giant bits of giantly spectacular ancient buildings for you to walk through, sit on, and generally enjoy as if you actually lived in ancient Pergamon, Miletus, or Babylon? I mean, really. Between the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Ishtar Gate/processional way, (and also the Mshatta facade, which, dammit, I didn’t see, so now I’ll have to go back!), you feel small, and agog at the marvels of history. It’s great.

I also went to the Bode Museum, which was nice, and maybe if I hadn’t been so sleepy and it wasn’t so full of little fiddly things that take a lot of attention to look at, I would have been more impressed. However, this burned up Della Robbia sculpture caught my eye because it’s fascinating when museums show stuff that hasn’t fared well.

crispy
crispy

This particular Renaissance terracotta was burned in a fire during WWII, which was the fate of a lot of artworks, most of which didn’t survive as well as this one and in many ways these relics of a terrible moment in history are swept under the rug, so it was great to see it on display. The Bode does have a lot of other really great stuff, including a fancy little Donatello, but unfortunately it wasn’t out, and so I was left to admire the pretty exterior of the building:

pretty!
pretty!

The Gemäldegalerie was my next museum destination and while it is one of the great painting collections in the world, I was a bit peevish when I was there because of the aforementioned full-price ticket charge. Reduced price museum admissions are one of the few material benefits to being a ridiculously poor graduate student and when that system fails me I tend to get rather annoyed, even when there are pretty things like this:

The Museum's peaceful interior court
The Museum’s peaceful interior court
pretty pretty Petrus Christus portrait
pretty pretty Petrus Christus portrait and it’s teeny!
even teenier Jan van Eyck!
even teenier Jan van Eyck!
Correggio isn't just in Parma, he's also being smutty up in Berlin
Correggio isn’t just in Parma, he’s also being smutty up in Berlin
and speaking of smutty, here's to Caravaggio, the king of inappropriate sexiness!
and speaking of smutty, here’s to Caravaggio, the king of inappropriate sexiness!

So, despite my cheerfulness, the Gemäldegalerie was pretty good and definitely worth full-price. This time. But after that episode, I didn’t want to risk having to pay full price anywhere else, so I didn’t go to the Neues Museum to see the Nefertiti. I wanted to, I even stood in line for tickets on two separate occasions. But 14euro is a lot of money. Next time, I suppose.

Next post: more Berlin museums, and this time, the weird ones!

Advertisements

One thought on “Putting in my Time at Berlin’s Fanciest Museums

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s