6/28/16

Most Famous City Squares Around the World

Source(s): penpaland.com
                  buzzle.com
Gardens, fountains, recreational parks, shopping centers, town halls, council buildings - a city square has it all. It forms any city's dynamic core of activities

Times Square was originally called Longacre Square. It was renamed to Times Square after the New York Times moved its headquarters there in the year 1904.
City squares have generally been used to define the heart of a city. In previous centuries, these squares were also used as sports arenas or public gatherings.

A city square can be a market, shopping plaza, green landscape, or just an open space - spacious, well-designed, and suitable for social meetings. City squares are called piazzas or plazas in some parts of Europe and Latin America. While such squares are usually included by urban designers while designing modern, urban communities, some city squares were designed centuries ago with the purpose of enabling social gatherings.

City squares (especially the historic ones) have always been a large draw with tourists and locals alike. Buzzle draws up a list if the most famous city squares around the world.
TIMES SQUARE (New York, U.S.A.)
Times square
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
New York Times Tower, Bank of America Tower, Paramount Theater, New York Marriott Marquis, The Hard Rock Cafe, The Orion, Reuters Building, Disney Store, Planet Hollywood Restaurant, AXA Center.

POPULAR EVENTS
New Year's Eve Ball Drop (31st December), Dancing at the Crossroads (June).
Note: Good place to spot celebrities. Just don't act crazy on spotting one or you will be slapped with a restraining order.
TRAFALGAR SQUARE (London, United Kingdom)
Trafalgar square
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
National Gallery, Nelson's Column, Bronze Statue of George IV, Sir Charles Napier Statue, Sir Henry Havelock Statue, Lord Jellicoe and Lord Beatty Fountains, Nelson's Ship in a Bottle, Hahn/Cock, Powerless Structures.

POPULAR EVENTS
Christmas Tree Lighting and Carol Singing Ceremony (Christmas Eve), Diwali Celebrations (October/November).
Note: When in Britain, do as the Brits do. The Subway is called 'The Tube' in London. Ask around for a subway, and they'll handover a foot-long Ham 'n' Cheese to you.
RED SQUARE (Moscow, Russia)
Red square
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Lenin's Mausoleum, Saint Basil's Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, State Historical Museum, Iberian Chapel.

POPULAR EVENTS
Annual Victory Day Parade (9th May).
Note: Next to the Kazan Cathedral lies the GUM Departmental Store. It is spelled 'GUM' but pronounced 'GOOM' - sticky situation!
PIAZZA DEL CAMPO (Siena, Italy)
Piazza del campo
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Palazzo Pubblico, Torre del Mangia, Fonte Gaia, Palazzi Signorili, Chapel of the Virgin.

POPULAR EVENTS
Palio di Provenzano - Horse Race (2nd July) and Palio dell'Assunta (16th August).
Note: Be forewarned, the horse races last no more than a minute or so. So don't go around asking for a ticket refund.
GRAND PLACE (Brussels, Belgium)
Grand square
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Maison du Roi, Brussels Town Hall, Guildhalls.

POPULAR EVENTS
Flower Carpet Show (every two years; usually in August)
Note: No Brussels Sprouts jokes please. Too clichéd.
RYNEK GLOWNY (Kraków, Poland)
Rynek glowny
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Cloth Hall, Town Hall Tower, Church of St. Wojciech, Adam Mickiewicz Monument, St. Mary's Basilica, National Museum Gallery.

POPULAR EVENTS
Kraków Szopka Festival (Christmas Eve), Juwenalia Student Festival (May), Christmas Orchestra (First Sunday of New Year), New Year's Party (New Year's Eve).
Note: The square is spread over nearly 10 acres. If you are a shopaholic, then be ready to give your legs some harsh treatment.
PLAZA MAYOR (Madrid, Spain)
Plaza mayor
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Casa de la Panadería, King Philip III Bronze Statue.

POPULAR EVENTS
San Isidro Celebrations.
Note: Behave yourself. The square is surrounded by residential buildings on three sides, and you may end up seeing your antics on YouTube.
OLD TOWN SQUARE (Prague, Czech Republic)
Old town square prague
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
World's third oldest astronomical clock, Jan Hus Memorial, Battle of White Mountain Martyrs Memorial, Týn Church, St. Nicholas Church.

POPULAR EVENTS
Christmas Market (Christmas Eve), Easter Market (Easter Sunday).
Note: Just look at the astronomical clock and be in awe of it. Trying to figure out what's going on with the dial will be in vain - pretty complicated science that is!
PLAZA DE ARMAS (Mexico City, Mexico)
Plaza de armas
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Templo Mayor, National Palace, Nacional Monte de Piedad.

POPULAR EVENTS
Almost all Latin American festivals find a celebration in this square.
Note: Plaza de Armas is a common term, and there are nearly a dozen Plaza de Armas squares across South and Central America. This one is fondly called the 'Zócalo'.
PIAZZA NAVONA (Rome, Italy)
Piazza navona
NOTABLE LANDMARKS
Palazzo Pamphili, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Obelisk of Domitian, Church of Sant'Agnese, Pasquino Statue, Stabilimenti Spagnoli, Palazzo de Cupis, Palazzo Torres Massimo Lancellotti, Church of Nostra Signora del Sacro Cuore.

POPULAR EVENTS
Christmas Market (Christmas Eve).
Note: Do not confuse between pizza and piazza. Rookie mistake in Rome.
In many cases, city squares can be of enormous emotional attachment. Important public announcements have happened there. In some cases, these city squares have even witnessed protests and revolutions. They serve many purposes, but more importantly, they add to the beauty of the city.

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