In different languages, squares are defined by the words for example “Platz” in German, “Piazza” in Italian, “Midan, Maydan” in Arabic, “Miyan, Mayan, Mioyan” in Persian, “Agora” in Greek, “Forum” in Latin, “Meydan” in Turkish and Azerbaijani.
What is the square? I’m sure many of you would answer this question as the most crowded and well-known place in the city.
This is because it is often used as a meeting place.
Squares are actually an open space where different people, different social groups come together and allow people to mingle.
In fact, we can also consider the famous squares as the commercial center of the city.
If you think carefully, there are many restaurants and shopping centers around the squares.
Squares are a kind of place where people rest.
Whether in your country or in a foreign country, you must spend time in the squares to discover that country.
You need to sit in its restaurant or cafe and breathe, breathe in the smell of that city.
I think it would not be wrong to consider the squares as witnesses of important social events in the city.
If you want to explore cities, you must first explore their famous squares.
Let’s get to know famous squares of the world.
Table of Contents
Famous Squares of the World
1. Red Square (Moscow, Russia)
There is no doubt that Red Square is the most famous place in Russia and Moscow.
are is called “krasnaya ploshad” in Russian.
The square was built in the 15th century after the walls of the Kremlin palace were completed.
Red Square has been the scene of executions, demonstrations, parades and rallies throughout history.
Today, Red Square occupies an area of approximately 73,000 m² north of the Moscow River.
At the south end is the St. Basil’s Cathedral, built between 1555-1561. It was built by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate the victories of the Russian state against the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates.
8 domes, each designed differently from the other, symbolize 8 different victories.
The domes were solid gold before, but after 1670 they were painted in different colors and acquired a fairy-tale look.
The State History Museum, built between 1875-1881, is located at the northern end of the square.
Lenin’s mausoleum, completed in 1930, is located to the west, right in front of the Kremlin wall.
2. Trafalgar Square (London, UK)
Although Trafalgar Square is famous for its ancient buildings, what makes this square special today is that it hosts various events, performances and celebrations throughout the year.
For this reason, it is useful to take a look at the event calendar of the date you will visit the city.
Named after Britain’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the square was built by John Nash between 1832 and 1838.
In 1844, John Nash redesigned this square and the square took its current form.
The square, which took its final form after the expansion works in 2003, has hosted many protests, demonstrations and events throughout its history.
Highlights of the square are Nelson’s Column, the National Gallery, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields (Anglican Church).
Nelson’s Column, which is among the most important historical structures of the square, was built entirely of granite. This monument commemorates Britain’s greatest hero and Admiral Nelson’s victory at Napoleon’s Battle of Trafalgar. This 52-metre-tall monument is a monument that poured from French cannons and was built by Nelson’s Cape St. Vincent is surrounded by fountains and bronze reliefs depicting his victories on the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar.
3. Times Square (New York, USA)
The square, known as Times Square, is one of the most famous squares of the world.
It is especially remembered with New Year’s celebrations and giant illuminated advertisements.
The glittering street, where luxury hotels, restaurants, musicals, film studios are located, is one of the most famous squares in the world.
In fact, until 1904, the name of this one of the most famous squares was “Longacre Square”.
The famous newspaper the New York Times took its current name after its headquarters moved here.
The traditional New Year’s Eve ball drop, which has been held since 1907 in Times Square, one of the most important points of the New Year celebrations, is an event not to be missed.
However, you must be there in the early hours to watch the event from a better place.
And remember, if you leave, you may never go back to your old place (even for the toilet).
For this, I recommend that you dress warmer and consume less liquid (Of course, I say this in the hope that the Corona virus will end one day).
4. Plaza Mayor (Madrid, Spain)
It is one of the two largest and most famous squares in Madrid.
This huge and historic square was built in 1619 during the reign of King Philip III.
In the middle of the square is the equestrian statue of King Philip III, made in 1616.
The square is surrounded by 3-storey buildings with 237 balconies.
It also has 9 exit doors.
Originally built outside the city walls, this covered square has hosted bullfights, symphonies, tournaments, executions and etc. Today, it is surrounded by tourist shops, cafes and restaurants.
The architectural plan of this square was drawn by the famous mathematician of the time named Juan de Herrera.
In fact, such architectural squares are called Herrerian style squares.
5. Naqsh-e Jahan Square (Isfahan, Iran)
This square is also known as the Shah’s Square or the Imam’s Square.
There are 2 great mosques, a palace and a bazaar here.
This square is the second largest historical square in the world and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
One of the most famous mosques of Isfahan is in this square, it is called Imam mosque.
Built by the Safavid dynasty, the mosque is the best representative of Iranian architecture.
This mosque is situated on the south side of the square.
On the eastern side of the square Sheikh Lotfullah mosque is situated.
The Ali Qapu palace, built in the 17th century, is located to the west of the square.
6. Tiananmen Square (Beijing, China)
This square, which is the largest and one of the most famous squares in the world, was built in the 17th century.
It was later expanded during the reign of Mao Zedong.
In 1949, the stones on the ground were replaced with granite.
To the east of the square is the Chinese Revolution museum and the Chinese History museum, to the west is the Great People’s Building opened in 1968 and the 38-meter-high People’s Heroes Monument.
It is an obelisk where the history of the Chinese revolution is told and Mao’s manuscripts are also on it.
On the south side of the square is the Mao Zedong Mausoleum, built just one year after Mao died.
This is the place with the most tourists.
You can enter the mausoleum at a certain time interval.
That’s why there can be long queues.
To the south of the mausoleum is the 500-year-old Zhengyangmen gate.
This gate is the only gate that has survived from the old city walls.
7. Saint Peter’s Square (Rome, Vatican)
One of the most famous squares is located in the Vatican City, which is located in Rome, the capital of Italy, and has the title of the smallest city-state in the world.
Built between 1656 and 1667 by the famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, St. Pietro Square, one of the most important historical buildings of the Vatican, St. It is located in front of Peter’s Basilica.
This square is the largest public area of the tiny city-state, featured in all Vatican photographs.
If you are lucky, the square is also a spot where you can see the Pope, who comes out of his office to greet the public on special occasions.
There is an ornate fountain water pool around the elliptical area in the middle of the square, where the sculptor Bernini worked tirelessly to have columnar spaces and order.
In the middle, there is an Egyptian obelisk 25.5 meters high, erected by Pope Sixtus V. There is a Cross Cross on the obelisk built by an unknown pharaoh and brought from Egypt.
The impressive part to see in St. Peter’s Square are the 284 columns that are made up of four rows and surround a square.
Above the columns are statues of 140 saints created by Bernini’s students in 1670.
8. Grand Places (Brussels, Belgium)
The Grand Place is one of the most lively and famous squares in Brussels.
The most important feature that makes this square different is that it was built using three architectural styles, baroque, gothic and Louis XIV. Due to these features, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Manneken Pis, considered the symbol of Brussels, is also close to this square.
Brussels Town Hall, built in the 15th century, is also located in the square and attracts attention with its gothic and asymmetrical architecture.
Known as the king’s house, Maison Du Roi was rebuilt in the 19th century despite the danger of demolition and is now used as the City Museum.
One of the things that is unique to the Grand Place is the flower market that is set up here when the weather is nice. Even if you are not going to buy the colorful flowers, you should visit the square for this beautiful view.
The reason why the streets around the square are named after food and beverage is that when the square was built, food and beverage sales were made here.
9. Piazza San Marco (Venice, Italy)
Mark’s Square, which Napoleon described as the “Hall of Europe”, was the legal and administrative center of the city throughout history, and was also the gateway to Venice for merchants during the times when the city was accessed by water.
St. Mark’s Square is actually the place that opens to two very important historical structures for most tourists, such as St. Mark’s Basilica and the Palace of the Dukes.
Mark’s Basilica, which was built for the burial of the body of St. Mark, who was abducted from Alexandria by two Venetian merchants in 828, was destroyed in a fire in the following years, and the construction of the structure we see today in the 11th century forms the history of St. Mark’s Basilica.
In 1807, it was declared as the city cathedral and became its own important church.
The Palace of the Dukes was actually built in the place of a wooden castle with clock towers and moats, which was here in the 9th century, after it was destroyed in a fire.
However, after this date, the Dukes’ Palace underwent serious restorations until the 18th century and took its present form.
The palace has been serving as a museum since 1923.
St. Mark’s Square has been the scene of various demonstrations, protests, executions, celebrations and festivals.
Today, it not only has a rich touristic collection, but also hosts Venice’s most luxurious, expensive and aesthetic hotels, restaurants and cafes.
10. Plaza de Espana (Seville, Spain)
The ‘Plaza de Espana’, built on an area of 46 thousand square meters in the Renaissance/Neo Moorish architectural style, was opened in 1928 when King XIII was on throne and today houses many Government Offices.
In addition to the two towers representing King Fernando the 2nd and his wife Izabel the Catholic, it represents 48 cities in the kingdom.
The images, the motifs from the Greek-Roman period, the multicolored ceramics on the walls, decorated bridges and balustrades are remarkable.
When you come here, you can sit around the river for hours and examine the exteriors of the buildings.
11. Zocalo Square (Mexico City, Mexico)
This square is also on the UNESCO World Heritage list as a historical square.
There are many artifacts from the Spanish colonial period in the square.
The Metropolitan Cathedral, which is a historical and religious place famous for its Baroque architecture and dates back to the Aztecs, a civilization with 8000 years of history, is also located in this square.
The cathedral was built between 1573 and 1813 and is one of the must-see places in the city.
At the same time, the National Palace is located in this square.
The palace, which has a wide facade, is also very eye-catching with its interior architecture and decoration.
I recommend you to examine the unique murals of Diego Riviera on its walls.
12. Old Town Square (Prague, Czech Republic)
It is impossible to find this place when it is empty due to the abundance of valuable buildings, cafes, restaurants, bars and shops it hosts.
In the middle of the square, there is a statue of Jan Hus.
This square has been known as the heart of Prague since the 10th century.
For this reason, it has witnessed tragic events as well as many glorious events.
The most important of these was the execution of Jan Zelivsky, known as the leader of the people of Prague, and 27 leaders who opposed the emperor Matthias.
And since 1992 it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
We can show the Hus monument, Nicholas Church, Tyn Church and the Old Town Hall as examples of important structures in the square.
13. Main Square (Kraków, Poland)
This square is also known as Rynek Glowny.
There are fascinating historical buildings, covered bazaar, historical restaurants and cafes in the square.
You can see the best examples of baroque and gothic architecture here.
One of the famous buildings of the square, St. Mary’s Basilica is worth a visit.
The foundations of the basilica, which bears the traces of Gothic architecture, were laid in the 13th century and completed in the 14th century.
The basilica was built using bricks.
The basilica has two towers, but its architecture is different from each other.
Another important building that draws attention is the Municipality Tower.
This tower was built in the 13th century.
There is a statue made by Igor Mitoraj in front of the tower.
Another building in the square is the Grand Bazaar, also known as Sukiennice.
It was built in the 13th century.
It was damaged by fire in the middle of the 16th century, but was later repaired.
Later, it was damaged in the conflicts in 1870.
Finally, it was renovated and finalized between 2006-2010.
14. Taksim Meydanı (İstanbul, Turkey)
Taksim district and square got its name from Taksim Maksemi, where Galata-Beyoğlu water was “divided” in the past.
Before it became a square, the district, which was a narrow area lined with old houses, took its present appearance over time after it was turned into a square and expanded.
The Republic Monument and its surroundings in the middle of the square are used as a ceremonial place and serve as a meeting place.
The nostalgic tram runs from the beginning of the square to Tünel.
Taksim is also a cultural, entertainment and big shopping center.
It houses many shops, cinema and theater halls, art workshops, exhibition halls, bars, discos and cafes.
The monument, which has become the symbol of Taksim Square, was commissioned by the Italian sculptor Pietro Canonica and placed in its place in 1928.
The construction of the monument took 2.5 years, and the monument was made using stone and bronze.
15. Fəvvarələr Meydanı (Baku, Azerbaijan)
During your walk, you can find yourself in this beautiful square by following the fountains from the Soviet era.
Nizami Street, which arises from the square and is closed to vehicle traffic, is one of the most beautiful places with historical buildings and countless shops and restaurants.
It is worth seeing, especially with the evening lighting.
Palace belonging to the State of Shirvanshah, located in Icheri Sheher near to the , which has survived from the 15th century to the present Architecturally it is quite magnificent.
The palace, which has been serving as a museum since 1964, has a mosque, tomb and bath.
In the palace, you can also see the places built by the Ottomans.
We have compiled the most famous squares in the world for you.
Which of the famous squares would you like to see more? Can you let us know which of the famous squares we haven’t listed here? Please comment below.
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