Here is a model of the Berlin Museum Island. The two arms of the river Spree in black forming the island are clearly visible. In the back, the Hohenzollern City Castel in dark gray is under reconstruction. It will be called the Humboldt Forum, a place of exhibition and cultural exchange. On the left in light gray rises the "new" Lutheran Berliner Dom (cathedral) compensating somehow - as I explained - for the Catholic Kölner Dom (Cologne cathedral).
The Museumsinsel proper is filled with the relatively small Altes Museum followed by the Neues Museum and to the left by the Alte Nationalgalerie. Behind the massive building of the Pergamonmuseum dominates the scene and last not least the Bode-Museum is located at the island's end.
|The James Simon Galerie. In the background the still shabby facade of the Neues Museum.|
The new central entrance facility giving access to all five museums on the island is named after the great "benefactor Henri James Simon, a German entrepreneur, art collector, philanthropist and patron of the arts during the Wilhelmine period (Wikipedia)."
Here are some maps of Berlin's center showing the development of the Museumsinsel:
|In 1696 baroque fortification protect the City Castel and the |
royal garden later called Lustgarten.
Further to the north, the island is fallow land.
|In 1804 the city had extended to the west with the Zeughaus, Prinz Heinrich Palais, |
the opera, St. Hedwigskirche and the Französische Kirche on Gendarmenmarkt.
Only small building activity is seen on the island in the north.
|In 1841 the now called Altes Museum already existed and further north the building of the |
Neues Museum is finished. Note the old Berliner Dom on the right of the Lustgarten.
The Prince Heinrich Palais has become the University.
|In 1908 four museums had been built. The Pergamonmuseum ist still missing. |
Note the massive new Berliner Dom on the right of the Lustgarten.
|Double Statue of the Princesses Luise and Friederike of Prussia |
by Johann Gottfried Schadow
Paintings with famous court scenes by Prussia's glorifier, Adolph Menzel, dominate the exhibition in the Old National Gallery.
|Proclamation of Wilhelm I as Deutscher Kaiser at Versailles by Anton von Werner. |
This painting is not in Berlin's National Gallery. I took the photo at Friedrichsruh
in the Sachsenwald forest where retired Bismarck spent his remaining years.
|Anton von Werner 1895: |
Crown Prince Frederick at the Court Ball in 1878
Between the Crown Prince and Virchow stands the physiologist and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, President of the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt. Finally, von Werner pays respects to his famous colleague Adolph Menzel - also liberal-minded - showing the little man entering the White Hall at the City Castle through the door.
Back to Adolph Menzel.
|Adolph Menzel by Reinhold Begas 1875|
|Adolph Menzel 1850/51: Flute concert by Frederick the Great at Sanssouci|
The standing gentlemen from left to right are Baron Jakob Friedrich von Bielfeld, Opera Director Gustav Adolph von Gotter, President of the Academy of Sciences Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, mathematician and physicist, as well as Kapellmeister Carl Heinrich Graun. Sitting behind the king are court lady Countess Sophie Caroline von Camas and Frederick‘s boyhood friend, Isaak Franz Egmont Chevalier de Chasôt.
The musicians are: On the harpsichord Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach; standing right to him Concertmaster Franz Benda. On the right edge of the painting, Johann Joachim Quantz, Frederick's flute teacher.
|Adolph Menzel 1844: Rear building and backyard.|
|Adolph Menzel 1848: Round table of Frederick the Great at Sanssouci|
In all those wars Frederick had waged 180,000 Prussians had died. The Treaty of Hubertusburg in 1763 ended the Third Silesian War. It was called a peace of exhaustion confirmed by the king himself when he wrote, "Our fame in wars is magnificent to look at from afar; but whoever is a witness, in which misery this fame is acquired, under which physical deprivations and efforts in heat and cold, in hunger, dirt, and nakedness, he learns to judge celebrity quite differently.
This is a late insight after 16 bloody battles fought but now Frederick started to act according to the maxims of his Political Testament, "It is the duty of every good citizen to serve his fatherland, to remember that he is not alone in the world for himself, but that he must work for the good of the society in which nature has placed him. I have tried to fulfill this duty according to my weak forces and insights."
|Adolph Menzel 1849: A petition Frederick's subjects dare to present during the king's morning ride.|
|Adolph Menzel 1852: The Jewish cemetery in Prag.|
|Adolph Menzel 1857: |
The encounter of Frederick II and Emperor Joseph II at Neisse in 1769 (Sketch)
|Adolph Menzel 1857: |
The encounter of Frederick II and Emperor Joseph II at Neisse in 1769
|Adolph Menzel 1857: Handshake between the Duke of Wellington and Blücher |
after the battle of Belle-Alliance (Waterloo)
|Adolph Menzel 1871: |
The departure of King Wilhelm I from Berlin on 31 Juli 1870 to meet his army.
|At the terrasse of the James Simon Gallery. |
People look down on to the left branch of the river Spree.
The restaurant is inside the building behind the windows.