Mica gave me the idea of us writing about the squares of Europe we have visited in the past. I also thought of adding the gardens and parks which will be discussed in a series of blog posts.
The people in Europe love to stroll and relax around their parks and congregate on the squares which abound in their cities . Most of the squares of Europe form the city centre and usually is located where the city was founded or in the old town from where it started to expand.
The city squares let’s say in Spain, locally called “Plaza Mayor”, hold an important role as a place for pubic meetings, as government centres, and as transportation hubs where many lines of public transportation meet, such as streetcars or metros.
Most often, the central squares of Europe form a focal point where some important buildings such as the city hall and local churches are located. They sometimes are also found next to the main square. The city squares had many original uses. Sometimes they started as a village common which became a market place.
One good example would be Marientplatz, where you have a corner with a marketplace and a nearby metro line.
In many cases today, those same squares are still used as large markets on selected days of the week (or month).
In other cases they were created as meeting places for the city’s population, especially in front of Royal residences so they could cheer the Royalty. In others, they were purely to offer an open space to view important and elaborate public or private buildings.