Just over (one of) the bridges connecting Museuminsel to the ‘mainland’ is the German History Museum which, as you might guess, covers German History. Unfortunately, while quite interesting (especially the special Exhibition on the Weimar Republic and how it failed, there wasn’t a lot to take pictures of … just lots of audiovisual material or stuff that I’ve captured on film (so to speak) elsewhere.
The Altes Museum is one of the lesser biggies on Museuminsel – mainly lesser stuff, or smaller stuff than in the Pergamon.
There’s a fair bit more at the Pergamon Museum than just the Ishtar Gate.
The Neues Museum
Despite the name, this contains much in the way of Egyptian and Germanic antiquities … it is a separate institution (at least nominally) but with the new construction on Museuminsel it is now connected to the Pergamon Museum by an underground walkway.
There’s much more on Berlin to follow … but that will be in a later post
Museuminsel is a collection of several important national museums – not all of which I visited (the Art/Painting/Old Masters … not particularly interested) …
Pergamon Museum – The Ishtar Gate
This is well known as the location of the Pergamon Altar (not really an Altar, but, hey, who cares) from which it takes its name and which, like the other big items on ‘display’ was disassembled and removed to be re-erected in Berlin.
The last time I was here in 2003 the museum was undergoing refurbishment and the Altar was only partly displayed as were other of the major features … this time it was not accessible at all as there is (another) major rebuilding project under way.
The Ishtar Gate, however, and the Processional Way, however, which, last time, were also only partly on display were fully on display this time!
The reconstruction is not 100% original, some of the glazed bricks were not found (shattered into two small fragments?) and they were replaced with modern reproductions when erected … the rosettes above and below the animals, for example, are almost entirely replacements based on the few surviving fragments.
You get a real feel for what it may have been like back in the day … it must have been an awe-inspiring sight to foreign embassies and other visitors and to anyone travelling to Babylon on business, commercial or religious. Which, of course, was the intention of the thing … conspicuous display of just how wealthy (and, therefore, powerful) the King was and how strong his desire to please the Gods was, and, of course, this implied that the Gods would favour him in all things as well. A sobering thought for those visitors.
Visited after seeing all those tanks – Pictures speak louder than words.
There is also an excellent on-site museum with many audio-visual segments in a variety of languages as well as a great many artifacts and the story of the various phases the Camp went through … it wasn’t always a Death Camp as such. One of the better presented such museums I have seen (Sachsenhausen near Berlin and Dachau near Munich) in 2002/3. Pulls no punches.
An easy hour’s drive south of Hamburg is the German Panzer Museum in Munster (Örtze)which is located in/between two of the largest Bundeswehr training grounds. The museum, naturally, covers mainly tanks used by the German Army from WW1 to the present (which, since they include the East German Volksarmee in with the West German Bundeswehr means that some good examples of Russian and East Bloc stuff is included.
The collection isn’t as extensive as the British one at Bovingdon, which I covered in a previous post, but it’s not as old … and it’s pretty good anyway.
I must say that the Danish Royals (including Princess Mary, of course) really know how to furnish a Palace – and their subjects really seem to like them. A lotsince they have provided some really nice stuff even in recent years.
These photos are from the Royal Palace/Parliament Building (its most recent incarnation was burnt down some years ago and when it was, of course, rebuilt, the Royals decided they didn’t really need it all that much and so it is used by Parliament for their sessions in one of the wings and the other areas are used by the Royals and the Parliament for official functions … and the Royal Chambers are used by the PM as his (or her) offices.
On the way down from Copenhagen to Hamburg I stopped at Hedeby, which was an important Viking trading centre in what was Denmark until the 1850’s (IIRC). It gets great reviews and the museum is really well presented. But there was virtually no information of any consequence in English … just the odd uninformative sentence or single word.
So, for example, you have a coin or coins carefully presented with three paragraphs (two in German, one in Danish) and the oh so informative English text … ‘Coin(s)’ … OK, it was cheap to get in, around 6 Euro (say about A$11) but it wasn’t worth half the price. Not even a quarter.
The reconstructed buildings were also hugely uninformative. No information of any sort in any language. There were a few completely uninterested costumed ‘inhabitants’ wandering around, and, as far as I could tell, they didn’t seem to be terribly helpful even to those who spoke German.
A place with great possibilities, but an almost complete waste of time. How it got its UNESCO rating is beyond me.
One of the main reasons for going to Hamburg was to see the International Maritime Museum. Also very well presented with nine levels – but as you went higher up the English signage became sparser and scarcer till at the top two levels it was nonexistent. Again, very surprising, since this advertises itself as an internationally important destination.
There was a lot more stuff but, unfortunately, it was often behind perspex that was even more reflective than in these shots and almost impossible to get good shots of. That and a lot of it was not interesting enough …
Hamlet’s Elsinore isn’t actually Elsinore … it’s Kronborg Slott. The current castle is on the same site as the one that existed in Hamlet’s (mythical) day, but it isn’t identical … like many such surviving Royal Castles in Scandinavia it has been added to, rebuilt, left to decay, converted to other uses and then, finally, converted back to something like its glory days.