Nikolaiviertel, Berlin

Nikolaiviertel, Berlin, Berlin Overview

Nikolaiviertel or Nikolai Quarter is where you witness old charm of Berlin other than being a modern city in Germany. Since its establishment the district has been known as a historical place and still is conserved like the earlier times.

Old buildings, riverside streets finished with cobblestones, narrow lanes is what occupies Nikolaiviertel, the oldest town in the Berlin area of Germany. One can witness the difference once you leave the urban town of Berlin, erected with tall skyscrapers and bustling life to the old residential locale of Nikolaiviertel. Bordering along the Spree River and five minutes away from Alexanderplatz, a popular tourist square, Nikolai quarter as it’s also called gets its name from St. Nicholas, the oldest church in Germany.

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Origins of Nikolaiviertel

Founded in 1200 during the middle ages, the old Berlin had a trading route passed along the Spree river at this place. Now connected by Muhlendamm, the old town of Colin and old Berlin had become a settlement for merchants and traders. During World War II, most of the medieval lanes here and its neighboring areas were destroyed only to be resurrected back in 1987. In 1944, the Battle of Berlin impacted many parts of the capital including Nikolaiviertel, with major bomb raids demolishing the shops, taverns, courtyards and homes. For many years this landscape remains abandoned until the plan for reconstructing it began in 1981 and was restored completely by Berlin’s 750th Anniversary in 1987. Constructed by architect Gunter Stahn, Nikolai quarter was rebuilt with both the Historic and Plattenbau style structures. With the old charm restaurants, cafes, shops, this picturesque village is one of the popular tourist attractions in the middle of bustling Berlin

Attractions at Nikolaiviertel

Nikolaikirche: One of the renowned churches in the central Leipzig, Germany and now a museum, St. Nicholas Church as it also called resides at the heart of the quarter. A celebration of Berlin’s history dated back from 800 years, you can visit vaults and the oldest rooms of Berlin at this church. During World War II the church was damaged and fixed to permanently to host art, memorials and sacramental exhibits that are now a part of the museum. Some of the themed exhibits here belong to changes the city underwent from its start till present and also a closer picture about Nikolai quarter.

Today with capacity of over 1400 seats, the Gothic inspired interiors of the church and fascinating double spire top make for an impressive monument altogether. Over the period of time, the church has been a municipal centre, a place for electoral vowing and various organ concerts, especially for music lovers.

 Knoblauchhaus: Skillfully designed is the Baroque architecture Knoblauchhaus, a townhouse belonging to the 18th century Biedermeier era. It is considered as one of the beautiful and oldest houses in Berlin owned by Knoblauch merchant family. Built in 1761 by Johann Christian Knoblauch the house was later turned into a museum in 1821 on its main floor. The spiral staircase here takes you to the first floor of the house where the rooms have various intricate and original furniture pieces of the Biedermeier era. Some of the antiques that can be found in this three storey house with a library are a rare musical clock from 1797, a grandeur chandelier and pictures giving you insights into the politics of Berlin.

Ephraim Palace: What makes this palace and a museum historic and eventful is the architecture designed by architect Friedrich Wilhelm. Round facade, golden grille balconies and Tuscan columns by the entrance add the right charm to this splendid Rococo town house in Berlin. Closely located to Museum Island (one island with five museums) and in the Nikolai quarter in 1987, the palace has gone through various edifice works during the World War II and Berlin’s 750th anniversary period. Parts of this palace like the decorative ceiling on the first floor and the spiral staircase gives you an illusion of a colossal shell.

Sculptures in Nikolaiviertel

Klio: Sculpted by Albert Wolff in 1814-1897, Klio-“the muse of historiography” is one of the six pedestal figures of Friedrich Wilhelm III. This is 1 out of the two remaining figures that were melted down in World War II.

Allegory of Science: This is similar to Klio and is placed in the pleasure garden. Both “Allegory of Science” and “Klio” have been present in the Nikoli quarter since 1987. The bronze mass statue holds a book on this right hand with the thigh supporting it; while the left hand holding the globe.

St. Georg-The Dragon Slayer: Stories goes by the saying that St. Georg killed the dragon on the horseback to save the princess and the city as well. This sculpture erected by August Kiss was earlier located in Volkspark Friedrichshain and later in a newly constructed area of Nikolaiviertel. The statue of St. Georg was restored between the period March 2010 to June 2011 costing an overall amount of € 120000.  He was a martyr in the early 4th century in the period of Christian persecution and most of his stories can be found in “Legend Aurea”.

Shopping & Dining at Nikolaiviertel

The very first thing that should be on your list when you visit Nikolaiviertel is to eat at this old Berlin restaurant “Zur Gerichtslaube”. Located at Poststraße, this one serves authentic hot Berlin cuisine any time of the day. Julchen Hoppe, another one offers Berlin and German cuisines for both vegetarians and meat eaters. This also offers great views of Berlin dorm, Fernsehturm and the Spree River as you can enjoy the delicacies at the same time here. Café Spreeblick, Zille-Destille and Zille Stubbe are few other eateries where you can binge on along with the drinks.

If you are up for some antiques shopping then Antiquitäten is ideal for you with its wide range of collection of 18th and 19th century. Exclusive Wohnraumuhren, Germany’s leading speciality clock store sells stylish clocks like grandfather clocks, table and mantel clocks, wall clocks and the one for the living room as well. Kunsthaus is where you can buy paintings for artists whereas Fischer Mode is a fashion clothing store in this area. Based in Berlin for more than 25 years now, the store has exclusive styles for women in clothing and accessories.

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