Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Pergamon Museum - Vorderasiatisches


Ishtar Gate

It was a 2 hour wait just to get inside the Pergamon Museum. Luckily, the sun was shining and it was comfortable standing outside with just a light jacket and medium heel espadrilles. The Pergamon is undergoing renovations and a section of it will be closed after September 2014. The main entrance is now closed and visitors must enter from a side entrance in the courtyard bounded by the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Pergamon on Museum Island. I bought the area ticket worth 18 which may be used to enter a number of other museums within the same day of purchase.  What I should have done though was buy the €25 annual basic membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin ticket so I could have skipped the line. Well next time I know better.

This was my second visit to the Pergamon. I was quite impressed with the Gate of Ishtar the first time around which is why it was on my bucket list on this trip and the reason why I endured the long wait. I wavered a couple of times and thought I should have started at the Neues Museum to view the Nefertiti first which is equally electrifying but the line to the Pergamon never let up so I stayed where I was until I was finally allowed into the museum at around 2 p.m.

In Nebuchadnezzar's own words

The Ishtar Gate and Processional Way are at the top of the stairs as you enter the lobby. The gate is one of eight double gates from Babylon dating back to the time of Nebuchadnezzar II around 575 B.C.E.  It is covered in blue glazed bricks across which parade yellow glazed dragons and bulls. The gate dazzles like new. On one side wall is an inscription of Nebuchadnezzar’s own words:  “I, Nebuchadnezzar, laid the foundation of the gates down to the water level and had them built out of pure blue stones. Upon the walls in the inner room of the gate are bulls and dragons and thus I magnificently adorned them with luxurious splendor for all mankind to behold in awe.”* And it is truly awesome!

Processional Way

The Processional Way is a snippet of the original in ancient Babylon, but it is nonetheless impressive. Lions march along the length of the facing walls in the direction of the gate. These well preserved fragments date back to 600 to 562 BC.

 Lamassu

There are so many treasures in the Pergamon Museum, particularly in the Vorderasiatisches Museum. One of these treasures is the lamassu, an Assyrian deity in the form of a winged beast with a human head. It is stunning in size.

Next up, the Market of Miletus.


*Source: Smart History, Khan Academy

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Images by TravelswithCharie


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