A rainy day in Berlin – museum time!

Day 2 – Berlin, forecast – rains and wind, agenda – stay warm and dry, plan – visit some monuments and museums! The day started out with trying to find a shop and purchase a raincoat! Next up was the Berlin Dom. An imposing edifice that sits at one end of the Museum island, the structure is relatively modern in history and antique in look!
The ornate interior boasts of a soaring ceiling with tiled art, a heavily carved pulpit and a magnificent organ.


After expending MUCH effort one can get to the top of the dome (I stopped counting after about the 600th step) and see the carvings from an entirely different perspective. The angels and cherubs somehow lose their appeal when one sees the heavy iron rods that anchor them to the structure!

However a heart “carved” into the grass, and the views of Berlin all around, made the trip up to the top worthwhile.
On the way down it is recommended that a stop be made at the Dom museum. Here one can see the various blueprints and models that were presented before the final structure was chosen. Some of the models have a level of detail that is mind-boggling!

After the visiting the crypts of the Dom we moved on to the real treasure of the Museum island in Berlin, the Pergamon Museum. Named for the breathtaking reconstruction of the Pergamon altar, made from original pieces and some “filler” this place in the museum invites one to sit down on the steps and soak in the vastness and beauty of the structure.
The Greek and Roman antiquities in this section of the museum are stunning, and well preserved even if mere fragments of a foot!

The celestial beings smile enigmatically and mosaics of intricate beauty beckon the viewer to tarry and get lost in the past.
I learnt that most ancient Greek and Roman statues were built of bronze and the metal was often melted down after the person died or house fell into disrepute or bad times. The statues were then subsequently carved in marble and that is what we see today. Often these stone carved figures are shown to be resting against a tree or rock as stone was not able to take on the weight of the statue as metal could.

Coming out of the Pergamon alter one exits into an area of soaring walls covered with blue tile. Turing back you realize that you just went under a gate that is awe-inspiring. This is Ishtar Gate, the eight gate of the inner city of Babylon!

Here is what the Wiki says about the Ishtar Gate: “Dedicated to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, the Gate was constructed of blue glazed tiles with alternating rows of bas-relief sirrush (dragons) and aurochs.

The roof and doors of the gate were of cedar, according to the dedication plaque. Through the gate ran the Processional Way which was lined with walls covered in lions on glazed bricks (about 120 of them).

Statues of the deities were paraded through the gate and down the Processional Way each year during the New Year’s celebration.

Originally the gate, being part of the Walls of Babylon, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the world until, in the 6th century AD, it was replaced with the Lighthouse of Alexandria.”

After walking the processional way lined with blue tiles and lions, aurochs, dragons and bulls, one enters the Islamic area. Here more treasures await the eye. These include this incredible prayer niche:

The Aleppo room (reconstructed original and behind hermetically sealed glass):
The Mshatta facade, which originates from an unfinished early Islamic desert palace located south of Amman in present-day Jordan (Wiki):
And this drinking cup that came from India and is supposed to have belonged to the Moghul emperor Babar!

It was closing time at the museums and we came out to slightly better weather and a choice of Berlin’s alternative transport methods – a rickshaw:
A pedicab:

And a strange device that is still able to show forward motion!!!

Our velocab took us to the Alexanderplatz in a jiffy and thus ended yet another amazing day in Berlin.


2 Responses

  1. Great quality photos! What kind of camera do you use? The pedicab looks cozy, but velocab is truly a weird looking device.

  2. I have a small Canon camera – nothing fancy! But I am trigger happy, digital cameras ROCK!

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