4 Museums in Berlin to Explore from Home

By Google Arts & Culture

1. Sanssouci Palace

 Built by Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, in the mid-18th century, the Sanssouci Palace is located in Potsdam, south west Berlin. This sprawling site is made up of the main palace, huge ornamental gardens and a large number of follies, temples and associated structures. 

The ornate rococo palace was built as a summer retreat and its picturesque gardens still feel a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park contains over 3,000 fruit trees, a vineyard and a network of greenhouses and nurseries. 

Inside the palace, you’ll find a selection of stunning rooms, each intricately decorated and beautifully preserved. Walk through these spectacular spaces to soak up the 18th-century atmosphere and enjoy a selection of ornate artworks and picturesque views.     

2. Neues Museum

Located on Museum Island, right in the heart of Berlin, the Neues Museum was built in the mid-19th century and fully restored by architect David Chipperfield between 1999 and 2009. Despite its name, the museum is home to some of the oldest artefacts in Berlin and currently houses the city’s Egyptian Collection.

Bust of Queen Nefertiti (Amenophis IV. / Echnaton, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, c. 1340 BCE) by ThutmosisNeues Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

The most famous piece in the museum’s collection is this limestone bust of Egyptian queen Nefertiti. Thought to have been made around 1345 BC, the bust was discovered in 1912 and has been housed in various locations around Germany ever since. The piece is one of the most copied artworks in the world and has informed many of our modern ideas of beauty.  

As well as the Nefertiti bust, the Neues Museum houses a fantastic collection of ancient Egyptian art and sculpture. You’ll also find Stone Age pieces and a collection of artefacts from pre and early history. 

3. Bode Museum

Also located on the UNESCO-listed Museum Island, the Bode Museum was built just at the turn of the 20th-century. As the Bode Museum is situated right on the tip of the island, just where the River Spree and Spree Canal meet, it’s become one of the more photographed buildings in central Berlin and an icon of the city. 

The museum’s founding director, Wilhelm von Bode, believed strongly in mixing art collections. As a result, the Bode Museum is home to an eclectic mix of sculpture, Renaissance works, Byzantine pieces and Prussian Baroque art. This makes it the perfect destination for anyone who likes a little of everything. 

“Pazzi Madonna” (c. 1420) by DonatelloBode-Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

One of the most famous works in the Bode Museum is the Pazzi Madonna. Carved by Donatello between 1425 and 1430, the marble relief is an intimate portrait of The Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child in her arms. 

4. Museum für Naturkunde

Berlin’s Natural History Museum is located just to the north of the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. It houses a fantastic collection of natural wonders including complete dinosaur skeletons, a vast mineral collection and recreations of a number of extinct species.

It’s estimated that the museum houses around 30 million specimens. In fact, its collection is so extensive that fewer than 1 in 5000 species are on display. Take a virtual walk around the Museum für Naturkunde to learn more about our planet’s incredibly history.

Learn more about Berlin's impressive museums without leaving home here, or by taking a virtual walk around Museum Island.

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