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The most historical quarter of Berlin

Translated by Helen Hardy — 3 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

The St. Nicholas quarter, or the Nikolaiviertel in German, is the oldest district in Berlin. It's located between the Spree River and the red city hall, a few minutes away from Alexanderplatz.

The district can also be considered the most historical district in Berlin, since it was established during the medieval period and has been conserved in its original layout until today. In fact, the St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) is the oldest church in the German capital. During the Second World War, the majority of the district was destroyed but, owing to its history, it was rebuilt in the style of the former district, with replicas of the buildings and the same medieval layout.

The most historical quarter of Berlin

The thing I like most about the quarter, and this was how I always recognised it, was the different heights of the building and house fronts in the area. The houses are places next to each other, but they're different in height, and most of all, the facades are designed utterly differently, with one poking out further than the other. This creates an irregular, but nonetheless picturesque image, and I've never seen a neighbourhood like it. It contrasts sharply with the rest of Berlin, but this city is also known for its history and great diversity, making this district a fine example of this.

The most historical quarter of Berlin

Currently, the Nikolaiviertel is a historic district, but one where the medieval style mixes with a large number of more modern restaurants and shops which provide it with much commercial attention.

The St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) continues to be the quarter's main symbol, and equally one of Berlin's due to it being the oldest church in the city despite its various restoration works over the centuries. The church is large in size, and its main facade is narrow, but tall, featuring two towers. The towers are placed directly next to each other, meaning that the roof is distinct from there, which I like as church towers are usually placed further apart. The roof is clear blue in colour and the facade reddish. The contrast here really appeals to me, as does the fact that the Nikolaikirche is different to all the other churches I've seen; the blue roof and spiked towers remind me of the churches in Zurich. We didn't go inside, since we don't often visit the inside of churches unless they are important, or we have enough time. The church is located on Nikolaikirchplatz, meaning St. Nicholas Church Square.

The closest U-Bahn (metro) station to the Nikolaiviertel is called 'U Klosterstraße' and is on line 2. You can also reach the Nikolaiviertel on foot from Alexanderplatz, though it's a ten minute walk; or from the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) by crossing the river and walking right. It's even closer to this as it is to Alexanderplatz.

The most historical quarter of Berlin

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