Thursday, January 10, 2013

Greek Gods & Magic Carpets

The Pergamon Museum is fantastic … it’s really a 3-in-1 museum since it houses the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East and the Museum of Islamic Art in the one huge bullet holed building.

Pay your 10 euro, dump the coat, grab your audio guide and open the first door and you are standing in front of the magnificent Pergamon Altar  built 180-160BC.. a massive reconstructed stairway, colonnade and frieze from the Temple of Zeus .. it is staggeringly big

In the next room is the Market Gate of Miletus … from the early 2nd century AD.  The really good thing is that until you are actually in each room you don’t really know what’s coming and each time you move on there is another Oh My God moment.
The Ishtar Gate is something else … massive, made of blue glazed tiles decorated with lions, bulls & dragons and built in the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (600 BC)  There is the gate, and a long section of the processional to the gate, plus all kinds of goodies from that period in history.

Upstairs is the Museum of Islamic Art … carpets, glazed altars, the 8th century Caliph’s Place from Mshatta and a stunningly beautiful painted Aleppo Room from 17th century Jordan.  Masses of other artifacts including jewellery, a family crypt, burial stuff and a statue of Hadad the God of Weather.

We whizzed around in only 2 hours but I could have easily spent that much again. 

A late lunch at Alexanderplatz with Lauren then some Helen time to do a spot of shopping … was the plan, however, I past a hairdresser so popped in for a haircut and by the time I came out (4pm) and did a lap of the Alexa mall, it was almost dark and raining (surprise surprise!)  Shops here close at 8pm but Berlin in the dark is not as tourist friendly as you might imagine so I just hopped on a tram back to Hachecher Markt and then to Rosenthaler Platz & walked back to the apartment.

Dinner & an early night might be the next plan … Tony has a cold, snored most of last night & I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  Went to Friedrichshain for dinner, ate at a little cross cultural Italian/Mexican place … really good.

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