More than 150 museums in Berlin are devoted to history, art, and knowledge. The National Museums of Berlin are located within the ensemble Museumsinsel, an island in the Spree river in the center of the city, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It houses various collections belonging to the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation. As early as 1841 it was designated a “district dedicated to art and antiquities” by a royal decree. Subsequently, Altes Museum (Old Museum) displaying the bust of Queen Nefretiti, Neues Museum (New Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), Pergamon Museum, housing multiple reconstructed immense and historically significant buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, and Bode Museum were built here.
The district of Berlin-Dahlem is home to several excellent museums. The Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art house the city's collections of non-European art and culture. This group of collections is internationally the most significant of its kind in terms of scope, quality and symmetry.The Museum of European Cultures has been housed in the same building since May 2005.
The Filmmuseum offers a journey through film history: from the pioneering years to contemporary cinema. The Hamburger Bahnhof exhibits a major collection of modern and contemporary art. The Neue Nationalgalerie (built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe) specializes in 20th century European painting. For a period of two years, the Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin “White Cube” (opening in 2009) will present contemporary international art at a historically charged location, the Schlossplatz.
Berlin is a political and cultural capital with a turbulent history which can be experienced in visiting some of Germany's best historical musuems. In 2006 the German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum) re-opened in the Zeughaus Unter den Linden with an overview of German history up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The Jewish Museum (Jüdisches Museum Berlin) has a standing exhibition on two millennia of German-Jewish history.
Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften at Freie Universität(Long Night of Science) takes place once a year usually in June on a Saturday from 05:00 p.m. to 01:00 a.m. Various universities and research institutes in Berlin and Potsdam offer special events to make the public familiar with their research.