The Joy of Museums

Exploring Museums, Art & Historic Sites

The History of The Pergamon Museum


Pergamon Museum contains three separate museums: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art.

The Pergamon Museum was built between 1910 and 1930 and is named after one of its key attractions The Pergamon Altar. It was built to complement the nearby Kaiser-Wilhelm Museum, now the Bode Museum, on what is known as Museum Island.

The museum early history was impacted by turbulent periods of war, depression, political upheaval and was damaged in the bombing of Berlin during World War II. Fortunately, many historical pieces were stored away from the museum for their protection and a number of the museum’s larger pieces were “walled in” for protection.

After the end of World War II, some of the original collection was taken by the Russians as war reparations and displayed or stored at the Hermitage and the Pushkin Museums. Many of the museum’s artefacts were returned in the late 1950s, however, some of the treasures remain in Russia.


“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” Marcus Aurelius


Photo Credit: By Balou46 [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons