Berlin Monument Authority  


World Heritage / Museumsinsel

Bode Museum

Bodemuseum 1897-1904 von Ernst von Ihne; Photo: Wolfgang Bittner, Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Berlin Monument Authority)
 Photos: Wolfgang Bittner, LDA
Bodemuseum, Kuppelhalle mit Treppenhaus; Photo: Wolfgang Bittner, Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Berlin Monument Authority)
Bodemuseum, Innenraum; Photo: Wolfgang Bittner, Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (Berlin Monument Authority)

Am Kupfergraben, Mitte; 1898-1904 by Ernst Eberhard von Ihne

The neo-Baroque structure of the Bode Museum is prominently positioned at the northwestern tip of the Museum Island, enjoying a similarly distinctive location as the Nationalgalerie with regard to urban design. The irregular triangular shape of the structure occupies the property remaining between the train tracks and the tip of the island, yet through skilled distribution retains an impression of complete symmetry in its alignment with the entrance structure. The museum was constructed from 1897-1904 by Royal Court Architect Ernst von Ihne on the initiative of William von Bode, who had accumulated a collection of paintings and sculptures from the Christian era.

The Wilhelminian Baroque-style museum structure faced with sandstone rises directly out of the river. Two stories are integrated by two Corinthian pilasters crowned by a balustrade, and positioned on a low ashlar base lined with windows. A recessed cupola crowns the corner structure and highlights the oval shape of the richly designed main staircase with a reproduction of an equestrian statue of the Great Elector by Andreas Schlüter in its center. The main hall of the museum adjoins with the "basilica" which rises over two stories high. Together with the exhibited works of art, this dome was to create the impression of an authentic Renaissance church hall. This hall was one example of many illustrating Wilhelm von Bode's fundamental concept of exhibiting sculptures and paintings in contemporary décor to create an overall powerful impression.