This is the largest square in Transylvania at 142 metre wide by 93 metre long. The flag stones that pave the square are made of andesite and basalt. Most of the buildings that line the square are built in Baroque style. Piata mare is the Romanian name of the square, its old German name was Grosser Platz. Between the wars it was renamed Ferdinand Square. When the Communists took over the country they renamed it Republic Square. Eventually it retained its Romanian name, Piata Mare.
Through the years markets were held here and even public executions.
There once stood a large cage in the square between 1724 and 1757. This was called the cage of fools, anybody causing a nuisance in the town during the night was locked in the cage during the day.
The Large Square or Piata Mare is the heart of the city, and one of its most striking sights, both for its scale and the beauty of the buildings that surround it. There has been a square on this site since 1366, although it must have looked very different back then. Most of the buildings we see today date from between the 15th to 18th centuries, some with 19th century modifications or additions.
The north side of the square is dominated by public buildings: the city hall and mayor’s office (an Art Nouveau building dating from the early part of the 20th century – on the right in my main photo and the left in photo two); the Catholic Church and the Council Tower (both covered in separate tips below).
On the west side is one of Sibiu’s most historic and elegant buildings, the Brukenthal Palace, which dates from 1777-1787 (on the left in my main photo and photo three). This takes its name from its first inhabitant, the Governor of Transylvania Samuel von Brukenthal. It now houses the main part of the Brukenthal Museum, which opened in 1817 and is considered one of the oldest museums in the world. Next to the Brukenthal Palace is the so-called Blue House or Moringer House, an 18th century Baroque house with the old coat of arms of Sibiu on its facade.
The remainder of the west side and the other two sides are taken up with typical Sibiu houses from the 15th to 19th centuries in Renaissance or Baroque styles. These are now mostly cafés and shops, while one is the Am Ring hotel.
When we were in Sibiu there was a film festival taking place and the square was set out with seating for this and a large outdoor screen. It was fun to walk through each evening and see what film was playing (Anna Karenina looked especially good in this setting), but the arrangements did rather detract from my ability to appreciate the scale and grandeur of the space. I was pleased therefore to find everything cleared away on the Monday morning, and the fountains playing – to the great pleasure too of the children (and a few adults) cooling off in them.
Next tip: the square’s Catholic Church
The large town square is the center of the old town and is a focal point for festivities in the city. While we visited there was a film festival and a large screen was erected for the film. Anchored by the Council Tower, the square is complete with water fountains young and old can run through.
The Large Square is the centre of the historic walled town. Around the square are many important buildings like the baroque Brukenthal Palace, the Townhall, the Roman Catholic Church and Parochial House. The Large Square is first mentioned in 1411 as a grain market. During the centuries the Large Square was the meeting place of town, for festivals, but also for executions.
Nowadays the Large Square is a nice meeting point with benches, terraces, fountains and cultural perfomances. It is also the place where VT members meet each other, anyway in 2010 and 2013.
Haller House is a renascentist transformation of a former gothic house built in the 15th century (1472). Facade is not modified for three centuries. For architecture lovers this is the house that must be studied in Sibiu. It has features like a rectangular tower in the courtyard with stairs, and an annex used as a chapel with painted walls
Council Tower (Turnul Sfatului) is a Sibiu landmark, connecting Piata Mare to the smaller Piata Mica (literally "Small Square"). You can climb the tower for panoramic views of the city center and beyond, and on your way up you'll also be able to see the inner workings of its sixteenth-century clock.
Piata Mare literally means "Big Square", and it is biggest of Sibiu's interlocking piatas. Here you'll find Tourist Information (in the flashy yellow Banca Agricola building, which is now Town Hall), the Roman Catholic church, and a number of shops, cafes and services. When I visited in the summer there were nightly concerts in the square, and it was a popular spot to enjoy ice cream or a drink on a hot summer night.
This is the hearth of Sibiu, being first time mentioned in 1411 as grains market. Its name was changed in time from “Der grosse Ring” to “Grosser Platz”, “Piata Regele Ferdinand”, “Piata Republicii” and finally “Piata Mare”.
It is bordered by beautifull buildings with an remarkable architecture like The Parochial House, Catholic Cathedral, Brukental Palace, City Hall, Haller House, Blue House, Generals House.
All those buildings are following your steps with their dark eyes on the red old roofs.
The Great Square (or the Big Ring as he was once called) is the historic center of Sibiu, first time mentioned in 1411 as a corn market. The Big Square was the meeting place, the festivals place, but also the execution place. For hundreds of years the square changes the name from Grosser Ring to King Ferdinand. Here is best shown the "city eyes" - the small windows from the roofs. (see picture on the right) Picturesqueness festivities took place here with the occasion of a crowning. Copious meals: oxes, rams, lambs, were roasted to the fires in the big square and the win couldn't have missed. The handicrafts-man and their apprentices were presenting national dances carrying profound meanings. The 14 february day (my birthday) of 1582 year remained memorable. This was the perfect place to debate the defense questions.The square has a length of 142 m and a wide of 93 m, being one of the largest in Transylvania. The southern side of the square is declared architectural monument with preserved medieval styles.
Piaţa Mare, the Large Square, is not only the biggest but also the oldest of Sibiu's three town squares. It is the historic centre of Sibiu, and the first written record of it, from 1411, tells us that it was used as a corn market. It was also the site of public executions and public meetings. In 1703 the county leader Johann Sachs von Harteneck was beheaded in this square. Between 1724 and 1757 there was also a 'cage for crazy people' in the square.
The square, which is one of the biggest in Europe, is 142 m long and 93 m wide. The southern side of the square with its medieval buildings, has been declared an architectural monument. The most important building is number 10, the Haller House built in the 15th century. This house was the property of the Haller family for 345 years. At number 8 is the Hecht House also from the 15th century. On the corner with Magheru Street is Fileck House (1802) one of the most impressive buildings in town. The north side of the square is dominated by the Catholic Church and on the corner with Avram Iancu Street stands the Council Tower. On the east side the most important building is Weidner-Reussner House with the original portal dated 1652. Facing west is Brukenthal Palace (1789), home of the Brukenthal National Museum, and next to it is the Blue House, a baroque building from the 18th century.
The Great Square is probably the start of any tour of old Sibiu. It was the center of the fortified city. Many important houses can be found here.
Such is House Hecht, the third one from the left in the picture. This house was owned in the 14th century by a florentine who later sold to a mayor of the city, Georg Hecht.
The Brukental Museum of Art, not shown in the picture, is also found here, as is the Roman-Catholic Parish.
Piata Mare is the central square in Sibiu. It is very large and is a good place to start your visit.