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The Big Square In Sibiu

Sibiu, Romania

This is the historic center of Sibiu, first mentioned in documents in 1411 as a cereal market, the square existing since 1366 when the third fortification belt of the city was finalized. Staring with the 16th century, the large square became the center of the old city. For hundreds of years the square was named Der Grosse Ring or Grosser Platz, between the two world wars it was called King Ferdinand Square, the communists named it the Republic Square and starting with 1990 it returned to its original name.

The northern side was formed initially by the construction of the Tailors' Guild building in 1466 as well as other medieval buildings, and later on, between 1726 and 1733 the edifice of the Jesuit Church and the adjoining seminar (today a parish house) was erected. On the west side, the Brukenthal Palace was built on the location of two houses, one of them having loggia. Finally, during the first years of the 20th century, the Land Credit Bank building was erected, forming through its construction the present-day Samuel von Brukenthal Street.

During the middle ages, numerous important events in the everyday life of the city took place here, such as public gatherings and executions. The existence of a fountain in this location is mentioned in 1538, the pole of infamy is placed here in 1550 in the eastern side of the square, culminating with the statue of Roland and the scaffold which was placed in front of the house at no. 15 and which would be removed in 1783. County administrator Johann Zabanius Sachs von Harteneck was beheaded here in 1703.

The house of the guards used to stand in front of the Haller House (no. 10). All the houses built in this square had a roof with ridges parallel to the façades. A "lunatic cage" was placed here between 1724 and 1757, in which the persons who disturbed public silence during the night were exposed here during the day. Starting with 1734 the Large Square was dominated by Nepomuk’s statue, built by the city’s commander, general Wallis. After the war, Nepomuk’s statue was moved in a courtyard and the fountain with metallic grates was demolished in 1948. After 1948, the central part of the square was transformed in a flowerbed, all the pieces that furnished the square being disassembled. It was only in 1984 that the park which was unfortunately placed in the central square of a city with a medieval characteristic ceased to exist, in 1986 the statue of scholar

Gheorghe Lazăr made by sculptor Radu Aftenie being placed here instead.

"The eyes of the city", as the roof windows are known, must also be mentioned here because they are most visible from this location.

The wind flags were unmistakably present on every roof house and they indicated either the year the house was built or the emblem of the guild. At present, they only exist on the Council Tower and on the building across it.

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