Berlin’s Museumsinsel (Museum Island) in theriver Spree contains precious artefacts spanning6,000 years of the history of mankind.
Less than one square kilometre in size, over the course of 100 years – between 1830 and 1930 – the island became home to a remarkable architectural ensemble that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. It began in 1830 with the completion of the Altes Museum, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The first overall plan for an island of museums was drawn up in 1841 by Friedrich August Stüler, a pupil of Schinkel. He designed the Neues Museum, completed in 1859, and the Alte Nationalgalerie (1876). The Kaiser Friedrich Museum, now the Bode Museum, followed in 1904. The opening of the Pergamon Museum in 1930 marked the end of work on the Museumsinsel. Up to 70 per cent of the museum buildings were destroyed during the Second World War. As part of the Masterplan Museumsinsel project, the historical buildings are being renovated and modern extensions added, while closer the matic links between the contents of the collections are being established, creating awide-ranging overview of western cultural history. The opening of the magnificently restored Neues Museum in October 2009 marked the first time since the Second World War that all five museums on the island have been open. The Alte Nationalgalerie had already opened to the public in 2001, the Bode Museum in 2006 and the Colonnades followed in 2010.