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For almost two centuries, one of its most picturesque corners, Museum Island (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), has drawn crowds of museum and gallery goers to major attractions such as the Pergamon Museum.
All told, Berlin boasts in excess of 170 museums and somewhere in the region of 300 art galleries, from large publicly owned affairs to smaller private establishments. Berlin's most famous museum - certainly one of its most popular with more than a million visitors annually - the superb Pergamon Museum is the centerpiece of the city's Museum Island district.
The site also marks the boundary between the eastern and western zones of Berlin and contains a preserved section of the former Berlin Wall.
The gallery also hosts periodic special exhibitions and is regarded highly for its workshops, including programs highlighting the restoration of paintings and drawings.Opened in 1930 to house a collection of full-size reconstructions of ancient monumental buildings, the Pergamon is really a number of unique museums under a single roof, including the Antiquities Collection, the Middle East Museum, and the Museum of Islamic Art.The star exhibit, of course, is the Pergamon Altar.Also of interest are examples of Neo-Babylonian architecture from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II, including the monumental Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way, and part of the facade of the Throne Room from Babylon.The Islamic Museum's most valuable exhibit is the 8th-century façade of the desert castle of Mshatta in Jordan, while the Folk Museum displays restored furniture, textiles, pottery, and ceramics.