Town square

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Market square in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland

A town square is a large open area in the centre of a town. Town squares were traditionally places where people came together to meet, or to sell and buy things, or to be entertained. They often had markets, or they were used for concerts. They are often surrounded by shops or cafés.

Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, Platz (from German), plaza (from Spanish), piazza (from Italian), and place (nearly rhymes with “bus”) (from French).

Many town squares in the 20th century became used as car parks. In recent years cars have been banned from some town squares so that people can enjoy the open space once more, free from traffic and pollution.

In other parts of towns there are often smaller open spaces which are called “squares”. They are often square in shape, but some are different shapes.

Some famous squares include: Red Square in Moscow, Beijing's Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Times Square in New York City and Trafalgar Square in London.