The Nikolaiviertel (Nikolai Quarter), where Berlin was originally founded is located between the Spree River and the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall). The district’s twisting, narrow alleys with many restaurants, cafés and shops, creating an atmosphere of medieval times in the centre of Berlin are very popular with tourists.
p.s. The history of the town of Berlin, the first mention of which in an official document was made in 1237, started in the Eastern part of Berlin-Cölln, a double-town split by the river Spree. Under Hohenzollern rule, the dual Spree town was declared a single town by the name of Berlin in 1432. This is the beginning of Berlin’s long experience with unifications.
紅色市政廳Rotes Rathaus At the border of the Nikolaiviertel is the Rotes Rathaus, named so for the red clinker brick walls.
The north Italian High-Renaissance style building was designed by Hermann Friedrich Wäsemann and constructed between 1861 and 1869. It was modeled on the Old Town Hall of Toruń, today Poland, while the architecture of the tower(97m) is reminiscent of the cathedral tower of Notre-Dame de Laon in France.
The building was heavily damaged by Allied bombing in World War II and rebuilt to the original plans between 1951 and 1956. After German reunification, the administration of reunified Berlin officially moved into the Rotes Rathaus on 1 October 1991.
The Neptunbrunnen (Neptune Fountain) was built in 1891 by Reinhold Begas. It is made up of statues of Poseidon (Neptune) and four women representing the rivers Elbe, Oder, Rhine and Vistula. The fountain stands 10 meters tall, with an 18 meter diameter.
Berlin´s Origins are in the Nikolai quarter. The Nikolaikirche at its centre is the oldest building of the town that is still standing, and also Berlin’s first church.
The building has undergone much reconstruction over the centuries. A presbytery was built in 1402 and the two towers were added in 1877. The Nikolaikirche was destroyed in 1945 by bombing and completely rebuilt in 1987.
附記：馬克思-恩格斯廣場(Marx-Engels-Forum) Marx-Engels-Forum is a public park in the central Mitte district of Berlin lies on the eastern bank of the Spree River. It is named for Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818-14 March 1883) and Friedrich von Engels (28 November 1820-5 August 1895), authors of The Communist Manifesto of 1848 and regarded as the founders of the Communist movement. Before World War II the area now occupied by Marx-Engels-Forum was a densely populated Old Town quarter. The area was heavily bombed during Allied air attacks in 1944-45 and most of its buildings reduced to ruins. After the war the ruins were cleared but nothing replaced them. While the adjacent Nikolaiviertel was to be rebuilt, the German Democratic Republic (GDR) authorities in 1977 set up plans for a green space between the Palast der Republik and the Fernsehturm. The sculptor Ludwig Engelhardt was appointed as director of the project to redevelop the site as a tribute to Marx and Engels.
Marx-Engels-Forum consists of a rectangular wooded park with a large, circular paved area in the centre with a sculpture by Engelhardt, consisting of larger-than-life bronze figures of Marx (sitting) and Engels (standing). Behind the statues is a relief wall showing scenes from the history of the German socialist movement. The inauguration took place in 1986.