The Bode Museum used to be called the Kaiser Friedrich-Museum, and it’s conveniently situated on Museum Island. The large interior space is grand and monumental, and you can easily get lost in the labyrinth of the individual exhibit rooms.
I can’t say I’m religious, but seeing some of the works reminded me of my Catholic education days in primary school. There were plenty of religious artifacts and it got a bit repetitive and overwhelming after two hours. I enjoyed seeing the detailed craftsmanship and tedious labour that went into each of the artworks, but I can’t say I fully appreciated them without knowing much about the history and background.
Among the crosses, altars, and disciples, I did come across a few interesting favorites. For example, these two weird creatures which a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus was standing on.
Then there was this marble sculpture and I was just amazed how you can make a solid hard material look so light and flowing. And also because it had a cute dog too.
This painting was a bit macabre with a dog eating the bits of a beheaded body. Weird – yes. But I really like the vibrant colors of this painting, which was a change from the gray and solemn tones.
What really caught my attention and made me go ‘wow’ were the booklets for the visually impaired. The raised image on the plastic cover allows users to explore the shape, texture and lines of the artwork. I just thought that was a very nice and clever idea.
Overall, I feel that the Bode Museum is still worth visiting for its architecture, even if you’re not a fan of religious artworks. It’s certainly one of the larger museums in Berlin where you can easily spend half a day if you take your time looking through the works of art. In Summer, there are also free open-air classical concerts every Sunday outside the Bode Museum. I have to say, that’s highly recommended as it’s a nice way to wind down the week and enjoy some nice music over a sunset.
Here are some more photos of the museum: