Berlin Journals

Berlin Museums

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An August 2008 trip to Berlin by Owen Lipsett

DDR Museum Photo, Berlin, Germany More Photos
Quote: This journal discusses four of my favorite museums from a trip to Berlin as well as unraveling its incomparable Museum Island, to see a discussion of monuments, please see the companion journal, "Berlin Monuments."

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel

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Attraction | "Museum Island - Berlin's Cultural Heart"

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Berlin is rightly renowned for both the quantity and quality of its museums, since it effectively combines the state collections of two countries (East and West Germany) that sought to outdo each other. While museums are scattered throughout the city, there are notable clumps at Charlottenburg (near the palace), at Dahlem, and most importantly, on Museum Island (Museuminsel) at the end of Unter den Linden. Technically speaking, Museuminsel is the northern half of the Spreeinsel, an island in the river Spree that was the site of the first settlements in Berlin in the 1200s, where the Kingdom of Prussia (whose rulers became the German emperors) located most of that state’s most important public museu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 15, 2009

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel
Central Mitte District, Spree River
Berlin, Germany

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum)

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Attraction | "A Moving Experience"

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum) Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Berlin’s, Jewish Museum can more properly be described as an experience rather than a museum. The museum itself was designed by Daniel Libeskind, the son of two Holocaust survivors, and has been nicknamed "the Silver Lightning Bolt" for its disorienting design whose winding and sometimes discontinuous passages are intended to represent a torn Star of David, the symbol of the Jewish religion. Other parts of the internal layout, most notably the narrowing hallway in the Holocaust section, symbolic represent certain aspects of German Jewish history, although with the exception of the aforementioned hallway their significance isn’t always evident. They make getting around the museum somewhat challenging...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 15, 2009

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum)
Lindenstrasse 9-14
Berlin, Germany 10969
+49 (30) 25993-300

DDR Museum

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Attraction | "A Museum of Daily Life in East Germany"

DDR Museum Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
If you’re surprised by how little of the Berlin Wall remains (although there are plenty of other remnants of East Berlin) and want to gain a better understanding of life in East Germany, this little museum is an excellent resource. Privately owned and thus not included on the Berlin’s Museum Card or Welcome Card, the DDR Museum was worth the €5.50 admission fee (€3.50 reduced), and I suspect others felt the same way as it was more crowded than any other museum I visited in Berlin. It’s neither the best nor the most famous museum in Berlin, but possibly, in its quirky and somewhat limited way, the most interesting. The museum’s focus is day-to-day life in East Germany ("DDR" is an abbreviation of it...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 15, 2009

DDR Museum
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1
Berlin, Germany
+4930-847 123 73

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel

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Attraction | "The Best Museum on Museum Island"

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
To my mind, this museum, so named because it contains the altar from the ancient city of Pergamum, has one of the most well-displayed and approachable collections of antiquities anywhere. Considering that it’s not a particularly large museum (and the exhibitions will be even smaller as it undergoes partial renovation), the €8 admission fee is high, although if you’re visiting other museums in Berlin it’s worth purchasing the Berlin Welcome Card or Berlin Museum Pass which provide free admission. However, provided you have the slightest interest in classical antiquities, it’s well worth the full price as, while small, the collection is exceptional for two reasons: first, the reconstructions in the m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 15, 2009

Museum Island Berlin/Museumsinsel
Central Mitte District, Spree River
Berlin, Germany

Deutsches Historisches Museum

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Attraction | "An Authoritative Introduction to German History"

Deutsches Historisches Museum Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
As anyone with even the most casual knowledge of European history (or any visitor to Berlin) is aware, Germany’s history is among the most complex of any country. Simply keeping track of the political entities that composed Germany prior to its unification in 1871, not to mention the fact that it was again divided for 40 years in the second half of the twentieth century, is quite challenging unless you’re a keen student of history. As well as its complex and often tragic political history, Germany’s fascinating social history (often given short shrift in everything but specialist academic texts), which has both driven and been driven by these political changes, is difficult to unravel. Fortu...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 15, 2009

Deutsches Historisches Museum
Unter den Linden 2
Berlin, Germany 10117
+49 (30) 20304-444