Seeing Berlin Season Opens: Pergamon Museum Visit

ECLA Berlin Pergamon Visit 2006
ECLA Students

My goodness, what can I write about the museum visit? I’m certainly not an expert. I dropped art in high school. What can I say about it? Maybe that the tram ride to the Museum Insel took forever. Maybe that it was a wonderful warm night with people sitting outside and that it did not feel like winter but like summer and that I thought the museum island was such a wonderful place.

No, I don’t think this is what I am supposed to write here. Probably it’s more about the magnificence of the building that hosts the Pergamon or about the Pergamon Altar. It really felt as if we were in ancient Greece. I couldn’t believe how old it was. Visitors studied the ancient friezes with reverence. The stones were so white and beautiful that they seemed to be from heaven rather than earth. Misleading, though, as Aya told us in her lively and light-hearted manner, because in ancient times they were painted with bright colours. It made me think about how future researchers would feel excavating a Coca Cola can in 5006 CE. Maybe it would no longer be red but archaeologists might still consider it to be a precious relic.

Mantha and Aya, who led the tour for us, gave us lots of background information. They knew an incredible amount about those works of art and the visit would not have been half as interesting without their contributions. For all those who missed the explanation on different types of Greek pillars, here they are again. (It might be quite useful whenever we feel a need to show off our classical education and impress people around us). So never forget:

Then we moved on to ancient Babylonian art and had a look at the entrance gate of Babel. I was really impressed and admired the brightly coloured glazed tiles while Aya desperately tried to remember the English word for the German Keilschrift (cuneiform writing).

On the whole, the visit to Pergamon was quite short but thanks to our museum passes, we can come back again.

I will finish now and I will not talk about how much fun we had going out afterwards to celebrate Jeff’s birthday.

By Judith Schmid (AY 2007, Germany)

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