10 Top Art Museums in Berlin
That Berlin has a daunting variety of cultural resources is a well-known fact. Indeed, it is one of the main reasons for visiting the city. Added to the alternative venues that appear to spring up in the most unlikely spots in town – and not always easy to locate, at that – there are the more official offerings, which include a vast range of museums. Hence, those given to “collecting museums” on their journeys to various cities in the world will face a dilemma when it comes to Berlin – that of having to choose from the huge gamut of museums, housing an overwhelming quality and quantity of works.
The Museum Island
Museum Island (Museumsinsel), as it was re-christened in 1870, takes up the northern half of the island formed by the river Spree on its passage through the city. This is a must-visit destination for any museum buff in Berlin. It contains no fewer than five splendid museums, featuring collections that enable you to travel through art from ancient times to the 19th century. The value of the vast collections here led it to be listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999.
One of the most striking spaces in the complex is the Pergamon Museum, which draws about one million visitors a year. It features a collection of classical antiquities, a museum dedicated to Middle Eastern art, and another devoted to Islamic art. The building was designed to house large-scale artworks, notably its two standout exhibits – the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate.
The highlight of the Altes Museum (Old Museum) is the building itself. Dating from 1830, it is the work of the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, and one of the finest examples of German Neoclassicism. Housed in its interior is a splendid collection of exhibits from classical antiquity.
Sited behind the previous museum is the Neues Museum (New Museum), home to the magnificent collection of the Egyptian Museum of Berlin and the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum of Prehistory and Early History). Its paramount exhibit is the superlative Nefertiti bust, which attracts a large number of visitors each year.
No less important is the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), a magnet for enthusiasts of 19th-century art, and the Bode Museum, with an endowment that includes sculpture ranging from Byzantine to Italian Gothic to Prussian Baroque, as well as one of the largest numismatic collections in the world.
The Gemäldegalerie lies west of Potsdamer Platz, within the complex of museums and concert halls making up the Kulturforum (Culture Forum). The gallery houses an excellent collection of paintings by European artists active from the 13th to the 18th century, with works by Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein, Jan van Eyck, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer.
Another of the museums making up the Kulturforum is the Neue Nationalgalerie. Located in the Tiergarten, it is housed in an original building with glassed walls and a spectacular metal roof, the work of the architect Mies van der Rohe. Opened in 1968, this museum specialises in international art from the early 20th century to 1960. Standout features of this collection are the work of the German Expressionists and the Bauhaus.
Martin Gropius Building
Located on the Niederkirchnerstraße, between Checkpoint Charlie and Potsdamer Platz, in a building designed by the great uncle of the architect who founded the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius, this interesting exhibition space is celebrated for its excellent temporary exhibitions.
Inaugurated in 1975, the Berlinische Galerie is the best option for whoever wishes to take the pulse of art production in Berlin, as its collection features artworks produced in the German capital from 1870 until the present time. It is situated in Kreuzberg, one of the trendiest districts in the city where, if you’re good at getting your bearings, you can unearth the best of the alternative scene.
Lastly, we have also chosen the Berggruen Museum, located opposite Charlottenburg Palace, as it houses exhibits donated by the art collector and dealer Heinz Berggruen. It is a collection of modern art classics with works by Picasso, Matisse, Klee and Giacometti as its major offerings.
Book your Vueling to Berlin and get ready to discover its magnificent museums.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
A tour of Madrid's museums? And then dinner nearby
Madrid is an exceptional city for any art lover. And a gastronomic metropolis for the most discerning palates. To help you get the most out of your time, here are some restaurant recommendations for every museum. ENJOY!more info
Nine Museums To Enthuse Over In Venice
We love Venice. It is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe. Its eventful history, canals, immortal alleyways and artistic grandeur make this the city where any art lover is likely to fall head over heels. And, no wonder – in addition to the hundreds of churches here, one of the world’s most important networks of museums span the lagoon. Museums which, to cap it all, are not accommodated in conventional spaces. Instead, they practically invade Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings and feature collections which now, well into the 21st century, are capable of giving you hiccups.
With access by gondola, vaporetto or on foot, these are the nine museums you simply cannot pass up the next time you go to Venice. Cominciamo!
1. Accademia – the Largest Collection of Venetian Art
The Gallerie dell’Accademia is housed in three former religious buildings and makes up the leading collection of Venetian art in the world. The exhibition covers five centuries of art, from the Middle Ages to the Rococo, boasting such essential works as Feast in the House of Levi, by Paolo Veronese, Titian’s Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, Vittore Carpaccio's Saint Ursula Cycle, Finding of the Body of St Mark, by Tintoretto and Andrea Mantenga’s St George, in addition to early works by Lotto, the Bellini family and Tiepolo.
2. The Doge’s Palace – the Splendour ofLa Serenissima
While not a museum in the strict sense, the Doge’s Palace provides an essential visit for anyone seeking to grasp the splendour of the Venetian Republic. The seat of government, Palace of Justice and the Doge’s residence, this huge Gothic complex is the ideal place for delighting in some of the city’s foremost artworks, on the spot where they were conceived. Noteworthy, for instance, is the large-format Paradise, painted by Domenico and Jacopo Tintoretto, which presides over the Grand Council Hall. Another must-see are the canvases by Paolo Veronese in the Chamber of the Council of Ten and the luxurious Golden Staircase, built by Sansovino and decorated by Alessandro Vittoria.
3. Peggy Guggenheim Collection – Home of the Great Patroness of the Arts
Entering this unfinished 18th-century palace means venturing into the universe of the celebrated patroness, Peggy Guggenheim. Promoter of such artists as Klee, Pollock, Calder, Kandinsky, Ernst, Picasso, Moore and Braque, Guggenheim acquired this palace on the Grand Canal in 1949 and turned it into her residence. The collection is made up of 200 canvases and sculptures by renowned artists, including Dalí, Magritte, Chirico, Balla, Duchamp, Rothko, Picabia, Delauney, Malevich and Mondrian. Peggy Guggenheim bequeathed the collection to the foundation of her uncle, Solomon R. Guggenheim, on condition that it remained in the city.
4. Scuola Grande di San Rocco – the Finest Tintoretto
A must-see landmark, this former charity hospital built as a tribute to St Roch is one of the best places to see the work of Tintoretto. Completed in 1549, in 1564 Jacopo Tintoretto was commissioned to decorate the ceiling and walls of the Scuola. The standout monumental work in the complex is his Crucifixion, located in the Sala dell’Albergo, in which the artist achieved levels of sentiment never before seen in Venetian art.
5. Museo Correr – History of the Republic
Located in St Mark’s Square, this is one of the city’s leading museums. Based around the endowment which the abbot, Teodoro Correr, bequeathed to the city of Venice, it is the best place to learn the history of the Republic of Venice and the Italian Risorgimento movement. It also boasts a large collection of Venetian painting, particularly the work of Vittore Carpaccio.
Admission to the museum also gives visitors access to the Archaeological Museum and the Libreria Sansoviniana, designed by Jacopo Sansovino, of which Andrea Palladio said it was “the most beautiful building since ancient times”.
6. Museo Fortuny – a Spaniard in Venice
The late-Gothic-style Palazzo Pesaro was the residence of the famous Spanish textile designer, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, who acquired the building at the turn of the 20th century and lived there until his death. Both the building and its contents were bequeathed to the city by the artist’s widow in 1956. The elegant rooms provide the perfect backdrop for the Renaissance-inspired fabrics embroidered in gold and silver thread, and for the canvases, retables and Fortuny’s pleated silk dresses from the 1920s. A delightful visit.
7. Ca’ Pesaro – 20th Century Art Collection
This opulent Baroque palace houses the International Gallery of Modern Art. Founded in 1897, hanging on its walls are some of the most famous paintings by Gustav Klimt and Marc Chagall, in addition to works by Matisse, Miró, Klee and Kandinsky. Many of them were presented by these artists at the Biennial and acquired by the city. Be sure to visit the Museum of Oriental Art, on the third floor, as it features veritable jewels acquired by the Count of Bardi on his travels in the Far East in the 19th century.
8. Ca’ d’Oro – the Jewel of the Grand Canal
Works by Andrea Mantegna, Luca Signorelli, Vittore Carpaccio and Titian, as well as fabrics, frescoes and sculptures, come together in one of the most valuable displays on the Grand Canal. The museum, which since 1984 has housed the Franchetti Gallery, is located in a 15th-century palace regarded as the finest and most famous example of Venetian Gothic architecture. After undergoing alterations at various times in its history, the 1970s saw the restoration of the original splendour of its facade, one of the most beautiful in the city.
9. Ca’ Rezzonico – A Walk Through 18th-century Venice
This Baroque palace is one of the most priceless in Venice and one of the few palaces open to the public on the Grand Canal. Once famous for its sumptuous banquets, lavish parties and opulent decoration provided by the Rezzonico family, since 1934 it houses the Museo del Settecento, a collection of canvases, frescoes and artefacts which reflect 18th-century Venice. Be sure to visit the spectacular, restored ballroom designed by Giorgio Massari, featuring furniture by Andrea Brustolon, as well as a stunning gilt candelabra. Additionally, the ceilings in three rooms boast paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo.
Text by Aleix Palau for Los Viajes de ISABELYLUISmore info
Route Through the Gastronomy Museums of Emilia-Romagna
A trip to Emilia-Romagna takes you through a world of flavours, that’s for sure. Apart from its emblematic towns and magnificent traces of the past in the form of monuments, the region offers its delicious cuisine. Make sure you partake of it on your way through Bologna, Ravenna, Modena, Rimini, Ferrara, Parma or any other spot in this popular region of northern Italy. One way of getting to know their culinary delights, apart from tasting them, is to visit some of the gastronomy museums there. Following is a selection of such museums, where you can get up to speed on the history, origins, evolution and preparation of these delicacies in Emilia-Romagna.
Balsamic Vinegar Museum (Museo del Balsamico Tradizionale di Spilamberto)
(Via Roncati, 28, Spilamberto)
Balsamic vinegar or aceto balsamico has its origins in Emilia-Romagna. It is derived from a blend of different wines, both red and white. The process of making this type of vinegar is longer than for other vinegars. At Spilamberto, between Modena and Bologna, you can visit a museum dedicated to this delicious, delicate accompaniment to salads, meats and even desserts.
Museo del Prosciutto di Parma
(Via Bocchialini, 7, Langhirano)
Prosciutto is the denomination accorded Italy’s cured ham, and Parma is one of the protected designations of origin for this product, characteristic of northern and central Italy. Made from cured leg of pork or wild boar, it features in starters (antipasti), sandwiches and panini, pizzas, in pasta sauces and even as a filling in meat dishes.
This versatile product has its own museum in Parma where you can come to grips with its origins, history and manufacturing process. It is located in Langhirano, a municipality which also hosts a ham festival.
While we’re at it, in addition to the prosciutto of Parma, you’d should also try other cured sausages, including culatello from Zibello, Parma salami and spalla cotta (cooked pork shoulder) from San Secondo.
Parmesan Cheese Museum (Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano)
(C/ Corte Castellazzi, Via Volta, 5 Soragna - Parma)
Parmesan or parmigiano is a cheese which hardly requires introducing. Who hasn’t sprinkled it over pasta or risotto or used it as a grilled topping? The more inquiring minds among you will already know that its origins lie in Parma, hence the name. What you might not know is that the original recipe most likely goes back to Roman times. You will discover these and many other details at the Museo del Parmigiano Reggiano, located in Soragna. It is housed in a former cheese factory and has produce from the five Parmigiano-Reggiano-producing provinces on display. The museum exhibits cover the period from the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century.
Carpigiani Gelato Museum
(Via Emilia, 45, Anzola dell’Emilia)
Just a few kilometres from Bologna, in Anzola dell’Emilia, lies this museum, dedicated to one of Italy’s most popular and refreshing products –ice-cream. Inaugurated in 2012, its over one thousand square metres of exhibition space features ice-cream machines, photos, multimedia presentations and the implements used in ice-cream making, all props used to narrate its history and evolution. Incredible as it may seem, in ancient Mesopotamia they already used snow and ice from the mountains to cool drinks served at royal banquets.
The exhibition area is part of the Carpigiani ice-cream company, which opened the museum for the purpose of educating the public about this product.
Tomato Museum (Museo del Pomodoro)
(C/ Corte di Giarola – Parco del Taro, Collecchio)
A museum dedicated to tomatoes? This fruit, originating from the Americas and ever-present in Italian cuisine, deserves its own space to be extolled and studied in greater depth. Also known locally as “red gold”, the tomato has its own museum in Collecchio, the region’s agricultural and industrial centre, situated less than half an hour from Parma.
Why not broaden your horizons and get to know Italian cuisine even further? Get your ticket here!
Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicaciónmore info