Berlin museums -- info needed

Mar 8th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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Berlin museums -- info needed

Have several questions about some of the museums in Berlin, which I'm finding confusing as a unit. There seems to have been a lot of closing, moving, and reopening of museums in Berlin over the past number of years, and it's not always clear what went where. As of now and for the the foreseeable future, how accurate is this info I've been researching? Forgive any spelling errors below.

1. what's where now and what's open now:

a. it looks like the Dahlem Museum complex, which used to house several more collections (Gemaldegalerie, Skulpturegalerie) now pretty much consists of an Ethnologisches Museum with special subsections of East Asian and Indian Art. Were the old Museums of Deutsches Volkskunde and Volkerkunde subsumed as part of the current Ethnologisches Museum?

b. around Charlottenburg Palace, it looks like the Egyptian Museum and Antikenmuseum have closed down and relocated somewhere in the Museum Island area. It also appears the Museum fur Vor- und Fruhgeschichte may have closed recently. The Brohan Museum and Berggruen Museum appear to be open.

c. around Tiergarten, the Gemaldegalerie appears to have relocated here from Dahlem, and both the Neue Nationalgalerie and Kunstgewerbemuseum appear to be open.

d. around Museum Island, it appears the Bode Museum had reopened, perhaps the current repository for the collection that was the Antikenmuseum (originally in the Tiergarten area). The Pergamon Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, and Altesmuseum appear to be open at present, though it's possible that at least one of the Market Gate of Miletus, Ishtar Gate, or Pergamon Altar displays in the first of these may now be closed off to visitors -- and one of these three also has a "greatest hits" version of the old Egyptian Museum's collection (including the Nefertiti bust) while the Neues Museum is being prepared.

2. if one were to plan a Berlin visit, how feasible would it be to consider an itinerary that devotes a day each to one of these four areas? Am not sure how big these museums are, though am guessing the Gemaldegalerie and Pergamon are large and the rest are smaller. One possibility:

a. Dahlem (museum complex)
b. Charlottenburg (add Charlottenburg Palace to Berggruen and Brohan Museums)
c. Tiergarten (Gemaldegalerie, Neue Nationalgalerie, Kunstgewerbemuseum)
d. Museum Island (Pergamon Museum, Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode)

Is this reasonably manageable? Most all the museums at Tiergarten and Museum Island are open until 10 PM on Thursday, and am wondering which of these areas would be better devoted to the Thursday late hour option -- maybe the latter?

Am thinking a few of the smaller attractions which are open later or earlier (Reichstag, Kaiser Wilhelm Church, Berliner Dom, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Brandenburg Gate, and Unter den Linden stroll) can be seen or done before or after on appropriate days. Am also thinking a day trip to Potsdam (for Sanssouci and its park especially) makes a good 5th day.

Note that I very much like very full sightseeing days and am not interested in advice to sit in a cafe all day and smell the proverbial roses.

More info is very welcome here -- greatly obliged.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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Have you tried looking at websites for these museums?

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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You can start with your Museuminsel questions here, in English:

http://www.museumsinsel-berlin.de/in...ng=en&page=0_1
Aramis is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Hi Cries--

Yes thanks, I have looked at the websites for these museums. Unfortunately, I can't easily find what museum collections went where this way, nor is it clear how accurate the info I've found both here and elsewhere on the web is regarding current museum status, as things conflict at times. In short, am finding researching Berlin's museums a confusing forest, and my limited command of German (yes, many the museums have websites at least partially translated into English) doesn't help things. Am hoping some knowledgeable Berlin native or very recent visitor may know best on this.
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Mar 8th, 2009, 06:54 PM
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yk
 
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Hi bachslunch - I feel the same way as you do. There has been so much moving stuff around, partial closing/opening, complete closing/opening in Berlin that I feel impossible to follow. I haven't investigated it as detailed as you have, but I am waiting until (almost) everything is reopened before returning to Berlin. I tried looking at various websites recently and I too found it hard to tell what's where and how much is actually open. The problem is there are SO MANY museums in Berlin that it's quite a task to figure out one by one... I was there in 2003 and can't wait to go back.
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Mar 8th, 2009, 07:02 PM
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I was at the Pergamon Museum in December 2007 and the Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate were on display.

The Gemaldegalerie, which is a short walk from Potsdammer Platz, was also in full operation. There is a fashion museum inside the same building.

Thin
Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Mar 9th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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My husband and I took a whirlwind trip to Berlin in Oct 08. The Brohan Museum and Brucke were open and we spent a happy day between the two. Both had well chosen collections and nicely put together.
Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Design- wasn't open
Neither was the Mies van der Rohe Haus.
The Pergamon was open.
Unfortunately, Reichstag was not, something about window cleaning. Oh darn! We'll have to go back.

The Jewish Museum was open and I'll never forget it.

Am I the only person alive who didn't enjoy Potsdam? I just didn't get what is so cool about a city that is basically the same apartment building over and over with different facades. Disneyland in full scale.
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Mar 10th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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yk
 
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LSky-
Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Design- wasn't open
Neither was the Mies van der Rohe Haus.


Were they just not open the day you wanted to go, or were they closed for renovation?

Re: Potsdam - I thought *most* people go directly to Sanssouci and that's it. When we went, we pretty much just got on the train in Berlin, arrived at Potsdam, hopped on the bus to Sanssouci without spending any time in Potsdam itself.
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Mar 10th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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yk, The OP's question was very clear. It wouldn't have been a fair to answer as I did if I had just miscacualted the day the museum was open. Although, I only took the word of someone at the hotel pertaining to the Bauhuas.

"most" people can do whatever they wish. I often have personal reasons for making my travel choices.
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Mar 10th, 2009, 08:57 AM
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LSky - please don't take my question the wrong way. I was simply curious (and admittedly, too lazy to check the individual websites for Bauhuas and Mies van der Rohe haus) as to whether those places are closed for several years for renovation or not. I am interested in Walter Gropius' work so visiting the Bauhaus Archiv will be on the top of my list of things to do.

In any case, I just searched for Bauhaus Archiv and it is open at this point:
http://www.bauhaus.de/english/information/index.htm
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Mar 10th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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yk, sorry, I see that my reply was a little sharp.

The good news for the OP is that the Mies van der Rohe Haus /Neue Nationalgalerie will be open on the 19th of this month. www.neue-nationalgalerie.de

The Bauhaus was high on our list also, so I know it wasn't just the wrong day. It occurred to me later that we should have gone just to take some photos of the building and checked to see if the girl at the hotel was wrong. But it seemed hard to believe that she wouldn’t have known, it’s not exactly an obscure building.

Guess we'll just have to go back to Berlin when we go to Warsaw. Darn!
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Mar 11th, 2009, 05:39 AM
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Potsdam--it's the San Souchi complex, not the city itself, that most people want to see.
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Mar 11th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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I was in Berlin in September 2007. In one day I visited the Bode Museum (almost entirely sculpture), the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Altesmuseum.

The Pergamon Museum was wonderful. The Ishtar Gate and Pergamon Altar were on display. Restoration work was being done on the Market Gate of Miletus, and it was unavailable for viewing.

I am a big art fan but, in retrospect, I would have skipped the Alte Nationalgalerie except for the fact that it had several Friedrichs in the collection.

The "greatest hits" from the Egyptian Museum were on display at the Altes Museum. Most notable was the famous bust of Nefertiti.

The previous day I visited the Gemaldegalerie, which I thought was very nice.

As I mentioned before, I am an art lover, but after visiting these 5 museums (plus countless other sites such as the Reichstag, Berliner Dom, Nikolai Viertel) in 2 days, I was pretty much museumed out. Maybe this was because it was at the end of 2 weeks in Germany, but, I would suggest, unless you have extraordinary stamina and have no susceptibility to museum sensory overload, that you concentrate on the must-see museums on your list and leave a little time to relax and enjoy all the other extraordinary sights of Berlin.
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Mar 11th, 2009, 12:11 PM
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The best painting at the Gemaldegalerie is Vermeer's "Girl with the Pearl Necklace." I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

It really is a wonderful museum. It gets high marks from me.

Thin
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Mar 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Lsky

May I auggest that after seeing Potsdam/San Souci, on the way back to Berlin by train, get off at nearby Wannsee (I recall that it's the first or second stop) to visit the Wannsee Mansion Museum. It's in a beautiful country setting on the idyllic Wannsee....where the infamous Jan. 20, 1942 "conferenz" was held. It now houses all of the surviving documents, maps and such. Hard to imagine what took place therein that cold winter day during a sumptous cocktail lunch, served to the 15 conference attendees while they meticulously planned the logistical details of massive genocide.

Stu T.
http://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/Wansee05#
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Mar 11th, 2009, 01:52 PM
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I thought The Girl with the Pearl Earring was in den Hague? If it is in Berlin I am quite sad to have missed it...

I also wasn't a fan of Potsdam, and would skip San Souci for more of the museums in Berlin, but I've seen a lot of palaces and gardens so that may be my point of view.

Another lover of the Pergamon...

And listen to Stu and get to Wannsee.

gruezi
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Mar 11th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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yk
 
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Girl with Pearl Earring is INDEED in Den Haag. Thin was talking about Girl with Pearl Necklace.
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Mar 11th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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This is the painting:

http://tinyurl.com/2lhj9

Woman with Pearl Necklace by Vermeer

Thin
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Jul 24th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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yk
 
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bachslunch, are you still planning a trip to Berlin?

I will be going in the Fall, and my head hurts after looking at the State Museum website.

Here's a museum map with groupings of museums which I find quite helpful:
http://www.smb.museum/pdf/Standortplan_SMB.pdf

BTW, the Gemaldegalerie, Museum of Applied Arts (Kuntsgewerbemuseum) and New National Museum are in the Kulturforum area.

In the Charlottenburg area, apart from Brohan museum and Berggruen, there's also the collection of Scharf-Gertensberg (mostly Surrealism).

Does anyone know when the Neues museum will reopen for sure? Last I heard is October 2009.
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