Big or small, every town has a square. However, some squares over the period of time became so famous that they acquire an iconic stature and become the identity of that city. Here are the top 10 world-famous city squares which not just stood the test of time but let the history unfold over their chest.
10. Rynek Glowny, Krakow:
Europe’s largest medieval town square has everything that makes Rynek Glowny in Krakow one of the most famous and must-visit city squares in the world. Glittering shops, comforting cafes, loads of history and opulent edifices from the past, Rynek Glowny is not just a place but a painter’s imagination.
9. Piazza Navona, Rome
Majestic baroque edifices, lavish fountains, elegant palazzo, hawkers, street artists, cafes, and tourists, Piazza Navona at the heart of central Rome offers a glimpse of the era gone by and that too in a quintessential European way: Slow-paced and grand. The square before turning into the city’s most treasured squares in the last years of the 15th century served as the main market for almost 300 years. The main attraction of the square is the impressive Fountain of the Four Rivers by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
8. Piazza del Campo, Siena
Holding a coveted place among Europe’s greatest medieval squares, Piazza del Campo is shell-shaped square which is popularly known as Il Campo. The square has been a witness to Siena’s economic and social history. The open space on the slope close to the meeting point of the three communities that amalgamated to give birth to Siena: the San Martino, the Camollia and the Castellare was a marketplace which had started before the thirteenth century. There are eleven tapered alleys that lead to the city. The charming late Gothic houses around the square and a relaxed ambiance make Piazza del Campo one of the top 10 world-famous city squares.
7. Grand Place, Brussels
Guarded by magnificent guildhalls and a couple of other lavish edifices, the medieval marvel Grand Place or the Grote Markt is now Brussels’ identity. Similar to other famous squares in the world, the Grand Place was also a marketplace before turning into a public area. Today, the most important landmark of the city, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site Grand Place is famous for its lively atmosphere, classic cafes and plethora of activities. Visit Grand Place at different times to experience different auras of this beautiful city square. Don’t miss the night view and the flower market in the morning on specific days. If you plan meticulously, you can also witness the exquisite “Flower Carpet” which is set up in the month of August every two years.
6. Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China
Located at the heart of Beijing between two gigantic ancient gates: the Zhengyangmen and the Tian’anmen, the square is where most of Chinese history unfolded. Tiananmen Square is also regarded as the world’s largest public square and offers an incredibly beautiful view at nightfall after the area is illuminated. Although there’s no place to sit here and the area is closely monitored by security personnel, Tiananmen Square is one of the most iconic landmarks of Beijing and most definitely finds a coveted place among the top 10 world-famous city squares.
5. Old Town Square, Prague
Built in the 12th Century, Prague’s Old Town Square is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful historical sites in Europe. The area houses an assortment of interesting architectural styles from Gothic to baroque adorned with the warm pavement cafes making it a picture-perfect sight for tourists and locals alike.
4. Trafalgar Square, London
The plaza which was intended to be a hot spot of London was long neglected for reasons unknown until 2000 when the original plan was fished out and a scheme was launched to execute it. Soon, today’s Trafalgar Sq came into existence with street artists, living statues, protestors, revelers, tourists from all over the world and locals willing to spend a relaxed evening, not to forget the giant Christmas tree donated by Norway’s capital Oslo to Britain as a sign of gratitude for lending a helping hand during World War II.
3. Red Square, Moscow
A city square that once acted like a barrier between the historic merchant neighborhood called ‘Kitai-gorod’ and the Kremlin, the former royal castle now the official residence of the President, Red Square has witnessed the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. It was the place where the political bigwigs assembled to rejoice and castigate both. Today, the square is an iconic landmark of Moscow visited by millions of tourists every year. The cobblestoned stretch surrounded by the magnificent domes of St Basil and Kremlin towers is an imposing sight bringing it to the list of top 10 world-famous city squares.
2. St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
Yet another historical gem of Italy, St. Peter’s Square is a huge dazzling plaza located in front of the St. Peter’s Basilica—the papal enclave in the Vatican City. Resembling a massive keyhole with two semicircular arcades, St. Peter’s Square is not just any plaza in Europe but is one of the famous Italian sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s masterpieces.
1. Times Square, New York
The glittering billboards, dazzling skyscrapers and the razzmatazz of Broadway marquees drowning into the darkness of drug dealers and pimps due to economic depression of the 1970s, and then emerging again in no ordinary way but to secure a place among the top 10 world-famous city squares, Times Square in New York has a more compelling story to narrate than the city itself. Today with retail chains, hotels, restaurants, cafes, theaters and roughly 50 million visitors annually, Times Square is what the world imagines New York city as.
LIKE IT ? SHARE IT !