Not everyone knows that behind the long block and the red town hall Berlin hides a real gem – Nikolaiviertel. I also wouldn’t have known if not my Berliner friend Jana who took me there few years ago during one of my many visits in her city. Every time when I was there only a very few tourists were walking around, leaving the main roads and hordes of people behind.
Nikolaiviertel or Nicholas’ district is known as the place in Berlin that was first mentioned in history – back in 1237. The Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas’ Church) that proudly stands in the middle of the neighbourhood is the oldest building in Berlin that survived all the tempestous centuries and is also the oldest church in the city. The area, together with Coelln across the Spree river got its unified name Berlin in 1432 and was the heart of growning and developing town ever since.
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During the World War II the area was completely destroyed, only Nikolaikirche survived but was left roofless. The ruins remained until 1980s when the restoratons began just in time for its 750th anniversary. Now Nikolaiviertel, even if pretty small, is a lovely area to walk around the cobbled streets or under the arcades of Hanseatic houses and admire beautiful sign-boards that always remind me of German-speaking countries. The area is a real mix of styles! Nikolaiviertel is also known for the good German restaurants and bars so if you’re craving some typical food and famous beer that’s the place to go to.
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