World Heritage #0896 – Museumsinsel

Last modified 28.03.2022 | Published 03.09.1990Germany, North and Central Europe, World Heritage Sites

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The Museumsinsel (Museum Island) in Berlin is an island with museums. They date from when the very idea of museums was formed.

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name: Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
  • Country: Germany
  • Date of Inscription: 1999
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 896:

“The museum as a social phenomenon owes its origins to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The five museums on the Museumsinsel in Berlin, built between 1824 and 1930, are the realization of a visionary project and show the evolution of approaches to museum design over the course of the 20th century. Each museum was designed so as to establish an organic connection with the art it houses. The importance of the museum’s collections which trace the development of civilizations throughout the ages is enhanced by the urban and architectural quality of the buildings.”

My visit

I do not claim to having spent much time here, we gave priority to other sights in Berlin during my first visit in 1990. When I returned to Berlin in 2020 it was quite the opposite. Of the five museums on the island in this very centre of Berlin, I visited three. They were the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Altes Museum. The two remaining museums on UNESCO’s list, the Neue Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie will have to wait until the next time. 

Read more about my visit in 1990. I have not yet described my visit in 2020.

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