Europe's Most Beautiful Town Squares
The town square is a European speciality. From the triumphal spaces of global empires, to busy market places and serene social piazzi, every European nation has its own famous square. Here are some of our favourites, along with some surprising facts you might not have heard before!
1. Old Town Square, Prague
Prague's Gothic old town square is dominated by the formidable, double-spired Church of Our Lady before Tyn. This fabulous square featured in the 1996 classic Mission Impossible, in the iconic scene where Tom Cruise leaps out of a window into the square to avoid an exploding aquarium. Don't try this at home!
2. Marienplatz, Munich
This New City Hall in Munich's Marienplatz has an imposing 100m long façade and holds the Mayoral offices. It was the wedding place of Wilhelm V and Renata von Lorraine in 1568 – over 500 oxen were eaten. Lavish!
3. Place desVosges, Paris
In the famously well-planned Parisian streets, Place des Vosges has the honour of being the oldest planned public square in the city, built in 1605 by Henry IV.
4. Trafalgar Square, London
The famously vacant ‘fourth plinth' in Trafalgar Square has become a setting for bold art projects in recent years. David Shrigley's Real Good installation can be found here in 2016. Rumour has it that the bronze lions are cast from salvaged French cannons.
5. Palace Square, St. Petersburg
This square, site of the globe-quaking October Revolution, is now used as a venue played by the world's biggest artists.
6. Grote Markt, Antwerp
The Grote Markt houses Antwerp's Christmas Market. The exquisite statue in the centre tells the story of Silvius Brabo, a mythical Roman soldier who slew a giant and threw his hand into the Scheldt.
7. Markt, Bruges
Bruges' most famous landmarks adjoin the market square. To keep close to this hub of history, stay at the timbre-fronted Relais Bourgondisch Cruyce. Only a street away, it backs onto the beautiful Dijver: the moat that surrounds the ancient town centre.
8. Plaza de España, Seville
The immaculate Spanish square was built in 1928, but strongly evokes Seville's Moorish past with geometric tiling, orange trees and fountains. The Art Deco allusions give away that this square was built partly to impress visiting Americans at the World's Fair.
Plaza de España also features in a number of big films, including Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, where Padme (Natalie Portman) and Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christiansen) enjoy a stroll around the planet Naboo, which indeed is Plaza de España.
9. Piazza del Duomo, Florence
Florence is one of the most romantic cities on Earth. Why not treat your special someone to a romantic weekend in Florence? We've already planned the perfect trip for you.
10. Old Town Square, Krakow
One of Poland's most historic cities, Krakow's Old Town Square can be enjoyed from the windows of the luxurious 5-star Palace Bonerowski. The striking, opulent interiors boast decadent patterns and lush furnishings.
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