Still an Island

Back when Berlin was still divided, the Museumsinsel was an island in two senses. Cordoned off from the West, it was a central component of East Berlin’s museums. A number of the objects displayed there belonged to “partial collections”, whose “twins” were to be found in the corresponding museums in the west of the city. But the Vorderasiatisches Museum – along with the Münzkabinett – only existed in the Eastern sector. With the reunification of the museums, the Museumsinsel underwent major restructuring processes.

The ensemble of buildings on the island – which has since been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO – is made up of the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode-Museum and the Pergamonmuseum. Today, it is home to the Antikensammlung, the Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, the Münzkabinett, the Museum für Islamische Kunst, the Vorderasiatisches Museum, the Ägyptisches Museum, the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte and the Alte Nationalgalerie. After the reunification of Germany, a process of restoration and refurbishment was launched involving all the elements of the buildings on the island, in accordance with the Museuminsel Master Plan.

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On site 1992-2022

The Museums at Museumsinsel in Berlin Mitte, 1990.

© RBB / Berliner Abendschau "Museen in Berlin" (Sendung vom 27.08.1990)
  1. Exterior View on the Altes Museum, around 1980.

    © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Zentralarchiv / Johannes Laurentius
  2. View of the Lustgarten and Altes Museum in 2022.


Postcards from the SMB (East), 1987.

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Museum Europäischer Kulturen

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  1. Leaflet of the Bodemuseum of the SMB (East), before 1993.

    © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Museum Europäischer Kulturen
  2. Leaflet of the Bodemuseum of the SMB (East), before 1993.

    © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Museum Europäischer Kulturen

View from the front stairs of the Altes Museum over the Lustgarten to the Staatsratsgebäude of the GDR, 1986.

© Andres Kilger

General renovations at the Neues Museum, 1990.

© bpk | Andres Kilger

Workers during renovation work in the Alte Nationalgalerie, 1998.

© Andres Kilger
Visits 1986-1996