Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
The squares have always been the center of city life. In the Middle Ages, various gatherings (such as executions) were held on these 'public spaces', in New Times markets were located here, and now festivities, fairs, parades and entertainment events are held.
In addition, large areas are an indicator of the successful economic and political development of the city. Not every metropolis can afford to allocate a huge space for nothing. After all, this is a source of profit! We have to get out: in Moscow, under the Red Square, there is the Okhotny Ryad shopping center, in Kiev near the Independence Square – the Globus, and in Minsk under the Central Square – Kupalovsky.
And for those who like to make long promenades in the city center, admiring the historical and cultural sights without interrupting such 'benefits of civilization' as coffee shops and shops, we have compiled a rating of the 16 largest squares in the world. Spoiler alert: two of them are in Russia.
- The largest squares in the world
- 16th place: Moscow Square, St. Petersburg, Russia (13.12 ha)
- 15th place: Kuibyshev Square, Samara, Russia (17.4 ha)
- 14th place: Parade Square, Warsaw, Poland (24 ha)
- 13th place: Freedom Square, Taipei (24 ha)
- 12th place: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany (25 ha)
- 11th place: Place Quencons, Bordeaux, France (25.6 hectares)
- 10th place: Quezon Memorial Circle, Manila, Philippines (27.1 hectares)
- 9th place: Complex 'Gateway of India', New Delhi, India (30.6 ha)
- 8th place: Macroplaza, Monterrey, Mexico (40 ha)
- 7th place: Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China (44 ha)
- 6th place: Huacheng Square ('Flower City'), Guangzhou, China (56 ha)
- 5th place: Park Jose Risal, Manila, Philippines (56.7 ha)
- 4th place: Sunflower Square, Palmas, Brazil (57 ha)
- 3rd place: Freedom Square, Jakarta, Indonesia (100 ha)
- 2nd place: Times Square, Daqing, China (144 hectares)
- 1st place: Xinghai, Dalian, China (176 ha)
The largest squares in the world
|The largest squares in the world||16||Moscow Square, Saint Petersburg, Russia||13.12 hectares|
|15||Kuibyshev Square, Samara, Russia||17.4 HA|
|14||Parade Square, Warsaw, Poland||24 hectares|
|13||Freedom Square, Taipei||24 hectares|
|12||Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany||25 hectares|
|11||Quencones Square, Bordeaux, France||25.6 hectares|
|10||Quezon Memorial Circle, Manila, Philippines||27.1 hectares|
|9||India Gate Complex, New Delhi, India||30.6 hectares|
|8||Macroplaza, Monterrey, Mexico||40 hectares|
|7||Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China||44 GA|
|6||Huacheng Square ('Flower City'), Guangzhou, China||56 GA|
|5||Jose Rizal Park, Manila, Philippines||56.7 hectares|
|4||Sunflower Square, Palmas, Brazil||57 GA|
|3||Freedom Square, Jakarta, Indonesia||100 hectares|
|2||Times Square, Daqing, China||144 hectares|
|1||Xinghai, Dalian, China||176 hectares|
16th place: Moscow Square, St. Petersburg, Russia (13.12 ha)
Moscow Square is the largest in St. Petersburg, with a total area of over 13 hectares. It is located, however, not in the center, but much further south, on the border with the Kirov region. It was built in the second half of the 1930s and was originally created as a venue for various demonstrations and other public events. It was also planned that the center of St. Petersburg will be moved here.
However, the Great Patriotic War changed the plans of the architects. The front line passed just a few kilometers from this facility, and as a result, many reinforced concrete pillboxes were placed on the site – one of which has been preserved to the present as a monument to courage.
The General Plan, updated after the war, provided for the preservation of the area, but it turned out to be inappropriate to move the city center. As a result, the territory received its name only after the completion of construction work – in 1968. And just a few months later, the Moskovskaya metro station was opened here.
In 2006, a large fountain complex was opened on Moscow Square, consisting of 11 springs. In addition, there are water cascades and jets operating in a dynamic mode. On holidays, they include lighting and musical accompaniment.
15th place: Kuibyshev Square, Samara, Russia (17.4 ha)
It should be noted right away that the architects and mayors of Samara cheated somewhat when calculating the size of the Kuibyshev square. 17.4 hectares – this is taking into account the adjacent buildings. Without them, it turns out a little less, but still Kuibyshev Square is the largest in Russia and one of the largest in Europe (second in size only to the Parade in Warsaw, Alexanderplatz in Berlin and Quincons in Bordeaux).
Only half of the territory of Kuibyshev Square is covered with asphalt. Everything else is planted with flowers, flower beds and trees. In the corners of the territory there are 4 large squares where you can walk and hide from the heat. And in the center, which is surprising, is not some government building, but the Samara Academic Opera and Ballet Theater. It covers 2.4 hectares.
The construction of Kuibyshev Square began in 1853 – however, then it was called Cathedral. In the general plan of the city, absolutely incredible, huge dimensions of the territory were indicated – 525 × 352 meters (18.4 hectares). In the center there was the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which was completed in 1894, and in its corners there were squares.
True, this cathedral did not last long. With the advent of communist power, the destruction of religious sites began, and the new government did not like the Cathedral of Christ the Savior either. It was blown up in 1930. But even this did not completely destroy the cathedral – it took another 20 months to dismantle it to the ground.
After that, for 12 years, the square took on a modern look. The Palace of Culture was built in the center (today – an academic theater), and on the western outskirts – the House of the Red Army (today – the District House of Officers).
14th place: Parade Square, Warsaw, Poland (24 ha)
In the center of Warsaw, Poland, there is Plac Defilad w Warszawie – Parade Square, whose territory stretches over 24 hectares. In terms of size, it ranks second in Europe, second only to Alexanderplatz in Berlin and Quincons in Bordeaux.
The Parade Square is one of the youngest in the country. Its construction was carried out in the 1950s, simultaneously with the construction of the Palace of Culture and Science adjacent to one of the sides. After the opening, propaganda parades were constantly held on its territory under the direction of the government of the Polish People's Republic. Actually, that is why the territory got its name. The largest of the parades was held in 1966 to celebrate the millennium of the Polish nation.
At the end of the last century, the communist regime in Poland was defeated, and the Parade Square lost its significance. The new government did not like it. It was believed that she disfigured the city center. Plans for the reconstruction and change of the geometry of the territory were repeatedly developed – but so far none of them have been implemented.
For example, in 2012 Poland became the host country of the European Football Championship – and a fan base was located on this territory. And now almost the entire territory of the Parade Square is used as a car parking. But the Warsaw government still plans to allow construction on this site.
13th place: Freedom Square, Taipei (24 ha)
Freedom Square is the central one in Taipei City (a territory with a disputed status, which is considered both as part of the state of the PRC and as the capital of the Republic of China). It was built in the 1970s, and received its name in this century as a result of social and political events that led to the separation of the Taiwan province.
In 1990, a massive political demonstration took place in Freedom Square, led by the Wild Lilies student movement. This event – as well as a number of others – led to the separation of the province of Taiwan and a change of government: from the communist one-party (currently remaining on the territory of the People's Republic of China) to a democratic multi-party.
In 2007, Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian issued a decree naming the area Freedom Square. Today it is almost completely 'rolled up' in asphalt, with the exception of large flower beds along its entire length. At the entrance there is a large gate with several arches, decorated with calligraphy in the style of Wang Xizhi. Interestingly, the characters are written from left to right – 'modern', not traditional for China.
Currently, Freedom Square is used primarily for political demonstrations. For example, soon after receiving its name, it became the site of a rally for the liberation of Tibet, for the right to vote and hold meetings, and so on. In addition, it is planned to turn it into a historical and cultural memorial.
12th place: Alexanderplatz, Berlin, Germany (25 ha)
Alexanderplatz is Berlin's central square, the largest in the country. Its territory stretches over 25 hectares – however, this size was achieved only in the 1970s, during the times of the GDR. Alexanderplatz is Berlin's central transport hub, as well as an important historical landmark with high tourist traffic – over 360 thousand people daily.
Alexanderplatz's history begins in the 1700s. Then it was called 'Royal Gate Square' (Königs Tor Platz). Of course, already in these times it was an important transport hub – travelers who visited Berlin arrived primarily at it. But it received its modern name in 1805 – in honor of the Russian Emperor Alexander I, who visited the country on a political visit.
Alexanderplatz existed 'untouched' until 1966. In the middle of the last century, there was a sharp increase in population in the GDR, so the area began to be built up with new buildings. At the same time, they managed to expand its territory, extending it towards east Berlin. As a result, the area of Alexanderplatz was the same 25 hectares.
Under the GDR, a huge hotel (controlled by the Radisson chain), a central department store, the Teacher's House and even a television tower appeared on Alexanderplatz. Currently, many of the buildings of those times have been rebuilt or destroyed. However, the large rotating clock and the Friendship of Nations fountain have survived. In the future, it is planned to demolish the hotel and build a residential building in its place.
11th place: Place Quencons, Bordeaux, France (25.6 hectares)
The largest square in Europe is Kencones, located in the French city of Bordeaux. Its territory stretches over 25.6 hectares. And, what is especially pleasant, it is not completely covered with asphalt (as is often the case with urban areas), but is lined with sculptures and planted with trees.
Kencons' story begins in 1820. More precisely, in 1816, city architects decided to build on this site a long rectangular square, one of the ends of which would end in a semicircle. In 1820, tree planting began. The plants were placed in an order called 'kenkons' (or 'checkerboard') – which is why the area got its name.
Later, various sculptures and monuments began to be erected on the territory of Kencons, turning it into a cultural and historical center. For example, at the beginning of the last century there was a monument in honor of the Girondins who fell victim to the Age of Terror during the French Revolution.
In 2003, the square was included in the city's tram system – and after that it became the most important transport hub in Bordeaux. Here, in addition to two tram lines, there are 21 bus 'lines', there is an electric shuttle bus stop and even an 'intercity' station, from where flights to the Gironde depart.
10th place: Quezon Memorial Circle, Manila, Philippines (27.1 hectares)
The Quezon Memorial Circle is not exactly a city square. Local authorities designate this area, located in the Metropolitan Region of the Philippines (Metro Manila), as a national park. The entire section is located in a large road ring called the Elliptical Route.
In the center of the square is the 66-meter mausoleum of Manuel Quezon, the second official president of the Philippines. Actually, the territory got its name in honor of him. Manuel Quezon became the first president of the Philippines to be elected by the people – he was supported by more than 80% of the population. During his reign, the constitution was amended in the country, thanks to which citizens received more rights and freedoms, and also ensured a more active turnover of power.
Now the Philippine authorities are doing everything to turn the Quezon Memorial Circle into an attractive site for tourists. Not only improvement works are being carried out, thanks to which this national park is becoming almost as comfortable as Moscow's Zaryadye, but also simply the popularization of the territory. So, for example, there are many museums (dedicated not only to Manuel Quezon) and a separate amusement area Circle of Fun. There are gardens, restaurants, and even a flea market. As a result, the park is visited by more than 1 million people every month.
9th place: Complex 'Gateway of India', New Delhi, India (30.6 ha)
At the entrance to the Indian capital New Delhi is the India Gate memorial. Together with the adjacent territories, it covers an area of 30.6 hectares, making it the largest in the country.
The India Gate itself, which is a classic triumphal arch, was erected in 1931. True, not in honor of the celebration. On the contrary, it is a memorial commemorating a tragic event. The India Gate is dedicated to the 90,000 soldiers killed during the Anglo-Afghan wars. And their names are carved into the walls of the arch. And at its foot an eternal fire burns.
In 1971, the India Gateway complex was replenished with another sad monument. Next to the arch was the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – in memory of those killed in the Third Indo-Pakistani War. This monument was erected by order of Indira Gandhi, the country's only female prime minister.
Representatives of other states, visiting India, traditionally lay wreaths at these monuments.
The area around the Gateway of India is occupied by several other important cultural and historical monuments. Also nearby is the Princess Park, which is part of the complex. In the near future, it is planned to turn the entire square into a National War Memorial.
8th place: Macroplaza, Monterrey, Mexico (40 ha)
Macroplaza – or simply 'La Gran Plaza' – is the largest square in Mexico. It is located in the center of Monterrey, the capital of the country's northeastern state, and stretches over 40 hectares.
Surprisingly, Macroplaza, despite its size, is a rather 'young' site. It was officially opened in the 1980s by order of President Alfonso Martinez Dominguez. For the construction of the square, several old buildings had to be demolished, including one of the most famous cinemas in the country.
But on the territory of Macroplaza there is a huge number of 'interesting things'. First of all, it attracts attention with the Trade Lighthouse – a 70-meter structure, which is equipped with laser lighting visible from anywhere in the city. There are also many gardens, monuments, pedestrian zones and cultural and entertainment buildings.
For example, the neoclassical governor's office is located on Macroplaz; esplanade of heroes; hidden garden with fountains and free performance corner; several bronze fountains; theater; several government buildings – and much, much more. However, getting to the square is quite difficult – there is only one metro station. But a huge parking area for those who arrived by private car.
7th place: Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China (44 ha)
In the center of Beijing is Tiananmen Square, which until the 20th century was considered the largest in the world. Now it, stretching over 44 hectares, takes only 7th place in the ranking. Nevertheless, it is one of the most popular in the country – and this is not surprising, since there are two places of worship on it at once.
The first is the Mao Zedong Mausoleum. It serves as a tomb for one of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party, currently ruling the country. Unlike Lenin's mausoleum in Russia, access to this building is almost always open, and those wishing to touch the political and cultural history of the country will see not only the remains of the Chairman, but also a film about his life, as well as many photographs, statues, paintings, letters and others. relics.
The second structure is the Tiananmen Gate, which gave the name to the territory and leads to the Forbidden City: the palace complex of the Chinese emperors, which served as a residence for rulers since 1406. Now it is a cultural and historical landmark and is protected by UNESCO.
However, there are more modern sights on Tiananmen Square. For example, the Opera House, equipped with the latest technology. And he looks amazing. The building is made in the form of a dome shaped like a half of an egg, and is faced with glass and titanium.
However, Tiananmen Square is known not only for its historical and cultural 'backbone'. This area is often chosen for holding actions and demonstrations. At the same time, one of the most 'popular' forms of protest is self-immolation – such 'acts' occur there with sad regularity.
6th place: Huacheng Square ('Flower City'), Guangzhou, China (56 ha)
In the heart of the Chinese metropolis of Guangzhou is Huacheng Square, also called 'Flower City'. It has an elliptical shape, is oriented strictly along the central axis of the settlement and spreads over 56 hectares.
It got its name due to the fact that most of its territory, surrounded by a wide carriageway, is planted with greenery. The 'Flower City' is, in fact, a large park, however, very comfortable and modern. This makes it attractive to tourists.
In addition, the Flower City has many parks, ponds and fountains. There are hiking and bike paths. The view of the Canton Tower and the skyscrapers of the Guangzhou business district opens up from almost everywhere. Also, 'Flower City' serves as an important transport hub – several metro lines and bus routes are connected here at once. And there is also a huge shopping center in the park, without undue modesty called the Mall of the World.
Huacheng Square was recently opened in 2010. It was raised to the Asian Games – an analogue of the Olympics, only for 45 Asian and Middle Eastern countries (including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). In 2010, it was China that hosted them, and Guangzhou was one of the three competition centers.
Also, since 2011, the Flower City has hosted the International Festival of Light, where participants from all over the world demonstrate a variety of works of art.
5th place: Park Jose Risal, Manila, Philippines (56.7 ha)
José Risal Park, also called Luneta National Park, is the largest square in the Philippines and the oldest urban green area of any Asian country. Its territory stretches over 56.65 hectares. But the Risal Park is not known for its size.
In 1946, the Philippines finally ceased to be an American island colony and became a full-fledged, independent state. And the country's independence was proclaimed exactly here. President Ferdinand Marcos ruled the Philippines from 1965-1986. He was a cruel sovereign, tyrant and despot. As a result, people, tired of his rule, staged a revolution. And in 1986, it was in the José Risal Park that the new president, Cuiraçon Aquino, announced the end of the tyranny of his predecessor.
In 2013, another demonstration was held here, called the 'March of the Million'. And in 2015, Pope Francis, visiting the Philippines, held his final mass in the same park. More than 6 million believers came to it.
All in all, José Risal Park has been an important place in the history and political life of the Philippines. And it is named after the writer who was executed here in 1869. His remains rest under the memorial in the center.
Today the park is one of the favorite vacation spots of the Filipinos. It is very 'green' and well maintained. The space is managed directly by the Department of Tourism. In addition, large-scale social and political events, national holidays and celebrations are regularly held here.
4th place: Sunflower Square, Palmas, Brazil (57 ha)
The Sunflower Square (Praça dos Girassóis) is the central public space in the city of Palmas, the capital of the Brazilian state of Tocantis. Spreading over 57 hectares, it got its name, probably because of some 'desolation'. Most of the territory is simply 'rolled up in asphalt', and on hot summer days you won't even be able to find a shadow here.
The Sunflower Square was created in 1991, concurrently with the construction of the Araguay Palace, the administrative building that houses the Tocantis state government. There are also many monuments here, and tourists languishing in the heat can head to the Fonte Luminosa fountain in the north wing. Jets of water from it rise to a height of 15 meters!
The northern wing of the Sunflower Square is, in principle, more comfortable than the others. In addition to various monuments, including the Bible Monument, there are several cafes and a family playground. Also in this wing is the Metropolitan Cathedral in Palmas and a chain of water cascades that mimics the rivers and rapids in the Tocantis region.
The Araguay Palace itself houses not only the meeting room but also several tourist attractions. For example, a museum that displays works describing the history of Tocantis and executed in different styles – from Expressionism to Cubism. And there is also the geodetic center of Brazil.
3rd place: Freedom Square, Jakarta, Indonesia (100 ha)
Freedom Square (also called Medan Merdeka) is the largest in Indonesia and one of the largest in the world. It is located in the center of the country's capital, Jakarta. Around this 100 hectare area – or 1 square kilometer – are key buildings: the Presidential Palace, the Headquarters of the Armed Forces, the Headquarters of KOSTRAD (Command of the Army Strategic Reserve); US Embassy, Telecommunications Center, Department of Defense, and the country's main radio station. And the station, of course.
The history of the square dates back to the 18th century, during the Dutch East Indies, when Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands. And then it came under the control of the French. And then, during the Second World War, it became a colony of Japan. And each new superpower increased the size of the area, erecting more and more administrative institutions around it.
Finally, in 1945, Indonesia gained independence. The declaration of sovereignty took place in this very territory. Indonesia's first democratic president, Sukarno, renamed this piece of urban land to Medan Merdeka in 1946, which translates from the local language as 'Freedom Square'.
The large number of administrative institutions and the central location in general led to the fact that in 2002 the city governor ordered to fence Medan Merdeka with a fence. Guards walk along it, whose task is to 'filter' visitors. Most foreigners and local citizens can freely enter Medan Merdeka, but homeless people and traders are 'weeded out'.
The territory of Freedom Square is divided into four parks. Each of them has its own attractions. And if there are monuments in three of them, then 'South Medan Merdeka' is interesting in that 33 rare plant species grow here – one for each region of Indonesia – and the Axis family (special subspecies of deer) lives here. And in the center of the square there is a 132-meter stele of the National Monument.
2nd place: Times Square, Daqing, China (144 hectares)
Times Square, despite its misleading name, is a huge square in the Chinese city of Daqing, Heilongjiang Province. It was established in 2000.
There is little information about Times Square – primarily because of the 'youth' of the city itself. The Daqing settlement 'grew' literally at the end of the 20th century. Until that time, the territory of Heilongjiang province remained deserted.
In the 1950s, an oil field was discovered near Daqing. And few things move the spread of civilization so much as underground deposits of hydrocarbons. In the 1990s, Daqing developed into a full-fledged city with a central enterprise in the form of an oil refinery, as well as several other industrial enterprises. And he even has his own airport.
Times Square in Daqing is an area almost entirely covered in parks. It covers an area of 1.4 square kilometers, fitting into the even rows of local neighborhoods. There are no tourist attractions here, and Times Square is too young for its historical importance, so you can skip it and go straight to the leader of the rating.
1st place: Xinghai, Dalian, China (176 ha)
Xinghai, also known as 'Starfish Square', is the largest urban plaza on the planet. Its territory is 1.76 square kilometers! It was opened in 1994 as part of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty.
Xinghai does not offer tourists too much entertainment. There is a 20-meter huabiao (Chinese ceremonial column) in the center, several light and music fountains, nine huge Chinese tripods and incredible lawns. Here, of course, you can also find many sculptures – from bronze figures of people to models of ancient ships. In the 'corner' there is also an amusement park, where there are attractions for every taste – from carousels to roller coasters, as well as, of course, a Ferris wheel, from which one can see both Xinghai and the surrounding high-rise buildings of the elite microdistrict. The square is also dominated by the 200-meter Dalian TV tower.
However, if you really plan a trip to Dalyan, then in the middle of summer. Indeed, in the last days of July, as well as in early August, a 10-day beer festival takes place on Xinghai Square!
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.