Almost every town has some variety of square, serving a important purpose as a social and commercial meeting place. They’re usually surrounded by shops, restaurants, and a city hall. At their center is commonly a fountain, monument, or a sculpture. However besides these similarities, city squares also have their own unique history. Today, we look at some of most famous city squares around the world.
The best glorious plaza in Madrid, Spain, this spectacular town square is one amongst the most stops on any traveler visit. Originally built outside town walls, Plaza Mayor has played host to bullfights, markets, symphonies, soccer games and executions. The statue of Philip III sits in the middle across from the superbly painted Casa de la Panadería, the former headquarters of the bakers guild.
Plaza de Mayo
The Plaza de Mayo has, since being the scene of the 25 May 1810 revolution that led to independence, a focal point of political life in Buenos Aires and, arguably, Argentina. Many of the city’s major landmarks are situated around the Plaza including the Cabildo. Situated in the center of the Plaza de Mayo is The May Pyramid, the oldest memorial in Buenos Aires. The plaza, since 1977, is where the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo have congregated with signs and pictures of desaparecidos, their children, who were subject to forced disappearance by the military junta.
Trafalgar Square is a large city square commemorating Lord Horatio Nelson’s victory against Napoleon’s navy at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The central monument within the square is a single tall column on which the figure of Nelson stands gazing over London. His monument is surrounded by four colossal lions and a series of large fountains. Much more than just an open plaza, Trafalgar Square is one of the most famous city squares in the United Kingdom and has become a social and political location for visitors and Londoners alike.
Located in the heart of the historic center of Mexico City, the Zocalo is one of the largest squares in the world. It’s flanked by the Metropolitan Cathedral to the north, and also the National Palace to the east, as well as variety of other historic buildings. An enormous Mexican flag occupies the center, which is ceremoniously lowered and raised each day. The city square has been a gathering place for Mexicans since Aztec times, having been the site of Mexica ceremonies.
The Grand Place (or Grote Markt) is the central city square of Brussels in Belgium. It is encircled by guildhalls, the city’s Town Hal, and also the Breadhouse. Along with the Atomium and Manneken Pis , the square is the most significant traveler destination in Brussels. Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Placefor a few days. A million colorful begonias are set up in patterns covering a large part of the square.
Old Town Square
Located between Wenceslas Square and also the Charles Bridge, Prague’s Old Town Square is usually bursting with tourists and locals in the summer. Featuring various architectural styles including the Gothic Týn Cathedral and baroque Saint Nicholas Church, the city square is an oasis for travelers wearied by Prague’s narrow streets. Among several churches, tourists could find the Astronomical Clock on this square, while the tower at the Old Town Hall offers a panoramic view of the Old Town.