The battle of gods and giants – Berlin, Germany

I was in Berlin in february 2014, right before the construction works would begin in the Pergamon museum. And I was amazed to see what was inside. Never had I ever seen parts of buildings inside a museum. I was not prepared for the huge blue Babylonian arch, let alone for the Pergamon altar, after which the museum is named.

I had learned about the Pergamon altar in secondary school, where I had an enthousiastic Latin teacher with a passion for everything that had to do with the Greek and Roman antiquity. He already told the myth about the battle between the Greek gods and Giants when we were thirteen. The earth godess Gaia had given birth to the Giants out of anger and she wanted them to defeat the Olympian gods. The Giants stacked mountains upon each other to reach heaven, where the gods were. It was looking really bad for the Olympian gods, until a hero named Heracles (most of you will know him as Hercules) came to the rescue. This battle is depicted on the Pergamon altar.

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On the left image above, you can see one of my favourite details of the altar: the knee of one of the figures that came out of the relief and is resting on the stairs. On the right image, you see how amazing the movement in the relief is. You can see the desperate look on the giants face when he is grabbed by Athena, the godess of war. Beneath them, Gaia comes out of the earth, because she’s trying to protect her children.

There are construction works going on in the museum at the moment,
DSC_0235so you may not be able to see everything that’s inside, but I would definitely highly recommend going to the Pergamon museum if you’re visiting Berlin. Besides the famous Pergamon altar, they also have a big collection of Middle-Eastern art. Despite the fact that I know very little about Middle-Eastern art, I really enjoyed looking at the collection, from carpets with pretty patterns to the before mentioned blue Babylonian arch.

A full-price ticket costs 12 euros. Especially now that there are constructions, due to which lines could be longer, it might be smart to buy tickets online in advance, which is also a little cheaper. If you’re planning on visiting more museums in Berlin however, it’s smartest to just buy a museum card (which I did). It’s about 20 euros and even cheaper for students and you can visit a lot of important museums with it for 3 days.

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