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St. Nicholas' Church

St. Nicholas' Church is the oldest church in Berlin. Located in the historic Nikolai quarter in Berlin-Mitte, it serves as a museum and concert hall today.

Today its official name is Museum Nikolaikirche but the two impressive recognizable spires of Berlin's oldest church and stone building reveal a distinctive medieval past. Completed in 1230, Berlin's late-Gothic church is located in Berlin's oldest district, the Nikolaiviertel, just south of the Red Town Hall.

Architectural history of St. Nicholas' Church

The church underwent many architectural alterations. From the original stone basilica with a fortified west tower the present triple nave structure with a cross vault dates from 1380. The Marienkapelle was added in 1452. During the Reformation the first Protestant public worship service in Brandenburg was held here as Elector Joachim II sided with the anti-Papists at the time and supported Martin Luther's reforms. In 1876 a second tower, with two spires, was added by Hermann Blankenstein.

Restoration of St. Nicholas' Church after World War II

Damage to the church during the war caused by fire and bombings included the collapse of the nave pillars. A large-scale restoration of the area, in an attempt to recreate the medieval core of Berlin was undertaken by the GDR governement for the 750th anniversary of the city in 1987. The result lacks the distinctive authenticity of Berlin's more usually raw sights. Nevertheless, it is well worth a visit to see how dominant the three-bay brick church still is in the quarter today.

St. Nicholas' Church features

Interesting exhibits in the Gothic main hall include the 1398 bronze baptismal font and a baroque pulpit from 1714. The altar belongs to the post-Reformation late Renaissance period with a Last Supper painting. It is possible to climb the tower and on a clear day it is worth the effort.

St. Nicholas' Church Information

Address: St. Nicholas' Church
Nikolaikirchplatz 1
10178 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0)30 24002 162
Opening Hours: daily 10-18
Admission Fee: 5.00 Euro, red. 3.00 Euro
free admission under 18
Architects: unknown, Hermann Blankenstein
Style: gothic

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