Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, Museum Island is home to five world-famous museums: the Pergamon Museum (Pergamonmuseum) reveals ancient artefacts and offers an area dedicated to Islamic art; the Old Museum (Altes Museum) shelters exceptional treasures from the Greek, Roman and Etruscan periods; the National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie) exhibits masterpieces of Impressionist and Realist paintings; the Bode Museum (formerly the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum) will please sculpture, Byzantine art and medal lovers; finally, the New Museum (Neues Museum) showcases cultural history around the globe from the Stone age to the Middle Ages.
In the early 19th century, art and culture began to bloom in this former residential area with the construction of the Altes Museum, which houses the royal collection of ancient art. The four other museums were built between 1824 and 1930. Illustrating the evolution of modern museum design, the collections span 6,000 years of art history, from the bust of Nefertiti to the Pergamon Altar. In the city centre, the island is one of Berlin's main attractions, and a great place for a walk.