The Market Gate of Miletus & The Ishtar Gate...


05/26/16 - The Pergamonmuseum is part of the group of buildings known as the Museum Island, in the city of Berlin. Opened in 1930, the originality of this museum lies in its own concept: it was not built first to receive the artworks, but the artworks were brought and then, surrounding them, the building was constructed. Thus, these wonders of Antiquity became the walls and columns of the museum.
The area that gives shelter to Pergamon's Altar is currently undergoing renovation works and is closed to visitors till 2019.  Only the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate can be visited.

Market Gate of Miletus (ca. 100 AD)
Pergamon Museum
The Markttor von Milet (Miletus Market Gate) is a huge marble structure, built in Miletus and destroyed by an earthquake on the 10th or 11th century.  In the first years of the 20th century it was recovered during excavation and rebuilt at the museum. During WWII it was badly damaged and restored again in the 50s. So we might argue that little remains of the primitive gate. It measures approximately 30 mts (long) x 16 mts (tall) x 5 mts (depth). The two-floors structure has three entrances and numerous niches. Between the first and second floor it is decorated with friezes with the images of bulls and flowers.
Ishtar Gate of Babylon (600 a.C.)
The Ishtar Gate is one of the 8 monumental gates of the inner wall of Babylon. Decorated with animals in vibrant colors over a blue background, it was built in the beginning of the 6th century B.C. by Nabucodonosor II, north of Babylon, which ruins now lie 100 km south of Bagdad. It was dedicated to Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war. In the first decade of the 20th century, an archeological German team led by Robert Koldewey excavated the Ishtar Gate and transported its thousands fragments to Berlin, where it was carefully reassembled.

Ishtar Gate (600 B.C.) - Detail
Like England and France, Germany also wanted to be one of the leading countries of the 19th century. This is why they built museums to house the best of Antiquity. Rome, Greece and Egypt have already been "taken" by the French and the English. So Germany went for Pergamon. Although the gates and the majestic altar of Zeus were saved from total destruction, they had to be disassembled for their transfer to Berlin.
Nowadays, as with many other countries claiming their primitive treasures, Irak is currently advocating for the return of the Isthar Gate back to its original location.

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Liliana Wrobel

Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani