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Bode Museum, Berlin

Exterior view of the Baroque Bode Museum (1904). View all images in our Bode Museum Photo Gallery.
Moses receiving the law from God (5th century).
Side view of the museum on the River Spree.
Moses receiving the law from God (5th century).
Room in the Museum of Byzantine Art.
Moses receiving the law from God (5th century).
Moses receiving the law from God (5th century).
Moses receiving the law from God (5th century).
Moses receiving the law from God (5th century).

Located on the northern end of "Museum Island" in the heart of Berlin, the Bode Museum is a must for anyone interested in art, particularly medieval art. Founded in 1904, the Bode Museum reopened in 2006 after extensive renovations. It contains a wealth of art and artifacts from the Byzantine and Medieval periods, primarily from Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, France and Spain.


The Kaiser Friedrich Museum was founded in 1904 by Emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941). It was renamed the Bode Museum in 1956, after its first curator Wilhelm van Bode (1845-1929). The building suffered significant damage during World War II; repairs began in the 1950s.

Major restoration works were undertaken in the 1990s and the museum closed completely for renovations in 2000. The numismatic (coin) collection was the first area to reopen, on October 22, 2004. The rest of the museum opened to the public on October 19, 2006.

What to See

Designed by head government building officer Ernst von Ihne, the Bode Museum is built in the style known as "Wilhelminian Baroque" for Wilhelm II. It is a stately, palatial building with its outer wings directly overlooking the River Spree on both sides of Museum Island.

The northwest corner of the museum, which occupies the end of the island, is topped with a large Baroque dome. A smaller dome at the other end overlooks train tracks that run across the island. The interior is bright and spacious and decorated with fine architectural details.

The Bode Museum houses three major collections of the Staatliche Museum (National Museum): the Sculpture Collection, the Museum of Byzantine Art, and the Numismatic Collection.

The extensive Sculpture Collection displayed in the Bode Museum encompasses works from the Early Middle Ages to the late 18th century, primarly from the German-speaking world, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. Italian sculpture is especially well-represented.

The only one of its kind in Germany, the Museum of Byzantine Art within the Bode Museum displays art and artifacts from Late Antiquity and the Byzantine period. The objects are mostly from the Mediterranean region, including Italy, Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Egypt, and North Africa.

Only the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul surpasses Berlin's collection of sculpture from the Eastern Roman Empire. Items on display include Early Christian sarcophagi, tombstones, inscriptions, ivory reliefs, mosaics, icons, objects from daily life such as belt buckles, and various liturgical objects.

The Bode Museum is the primary home of Berlin's extraordinary collection of coins and other forms of currency. Ranging in date from the 7th century BC to the 21st century, the Numismatic Collection includes 102,000 ancient Greek coins; 50,000 ancient Roman coins; 160,000 European coins from the Middle Ages to modern times; 35,000 Oriental-Islamic coins; and 25,000 medals, an art form that began to develop around 1400 AD.

The collection also includes paper money, medieval seals, and various types of money used by primitive peoples. Finally, there are more than 15,000 minting tools and a large collection of casts.

More coins can be seen elsewhere on Museum Island: 2,000 ancient coins from the Numismatic Collection are on permanent display at the Pergamon Museum and selected coins are exhibited at the Altes Museum and the Museum of Pre- and Early History.

Quick Facts on the Bode Museum

Site Information
Names:Bode Museum; Bode Museum, Berlin
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Berlin, Germany
Coordinates:52.521992° N, 13.394383° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of the Bode Museum

Below is a location map and aerial view of the Bode Museum. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.


  1. Personal visit (March 4, 2008).
  2. Bode-Museum - official website

More Information

Article Info

Title:Bode Museum, Berlin
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:03/29/2010
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/germany/berlin-bode-museum">Bode Museum, Berlin</a>