The old Berlin
The Nikolai quarter, known to Berliners as the Nikolaiviertel, is the oldest residential area of Berlin. With its mediaeval lanes and numerous restaurants and bars, it is one of the favourite destinations for visitors to Berlin.
In the Middle Ages, a trade route went through this area. Artisans and merchants settled at the junction of river and road. Circa 1200, the St. Nicholas church was built, a late Romanesque stone basilica. The church developed round a settlement with two main areas: Berlin, which was a somewhat larger settlement locate east of the river Spree and Colln, which was situated directly across from Berlin on the western shore.
Until the Second World War, the district was characterised by inns, stores, farms and small businesses. Artists such as Kleist, Hauptmann, Ibsen, Casanova, Strindberg or Lessing either lived or stayed here. The area, however, was largely destroyed by bombing in 1944 and for a long time it laid in ruins.
Only between 1981 and 1987, in the run-up to the 750th anniversary of Berlin, did reconstruc-tion work begin. The landscape of ruins was rebuilt by the architect Günter Stahn. Based on historical models. the houses and streets were recreated as accurately as possible, so that the illusion exists that one is actually visiting a piece of old Berlin.
The main attractions, in addition to the St. Nicholas church, include the Ephraim Palace, a masterpiece of palace architecture of the 18th century Berlin. Equally beautiful is the Baroque style Knoblauch house built in 1760, which offers insight into world of the upper middle class world through its rooms and valuable furniture.
- SeeMust Sees in Berlin: top sights, Museums and city tours — all at a glance!
- Museums + Art
- Sightseeing Tours
- Group travel to Berlin
- Berlins locations of world history
- ExperiencePackage offerWhat's going on in Berlin? Berlin events, insider tips for shopping, dining, and nightlife in Berlin.
- Food + Drinks
- Berlin offers more
- Winter in Berlin
- InformPractical information for your stay in Berlin: map, Berlin's districts, public transport and Berlin Tourist Infos.
- Find + BookBook your trip to Berlin: hotels in Berlin, the Berlin WelcomeCard, tickets and package offers.
- Package Offers
- Group travel to Berlin
- Berlin WelcomeCard Package offerThe official Berlin ticket: the Berlin WelcomeCard. Find out where you can get discounts and read all about our Berlin tours.
- Tours + Savings
- Product information
Subscribe here to the monthly free e-newsletter and stay informed about latest news and seasonal tips!
- exciting Berlin News
- new travel offers