The square exists since 1366, when the third fortification belt was completed.
It was mentioned in 1408 by Mathias Baldi who bought and repaired a stone house in the Large Square. In 1411 Mathia Tromenauer sells a stone house situated in this square to Nicolaus Jenkowitz. The same year, the square is mentioned in a document as a cereal market.
The northern flank was first formed by a construction belonging to the Guild of Tailors, erected in 1466 (one of its wings looking onto the Small Square) and other medieval houses.
During the Middle Ages, the square was the stage of the most important events of the city’s daily life, such as public gatherings but also executions.
The guards’ house was placed in front of the Haller House (at no. 10) until 1775 when the Guard was moved in Schmelius’s house, the residence of the commanding general.
The square has a maximum length of 142 m and a maximum width of 93 m.
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Between 1724 and 1757, a “lunatics’ cage” (Narrenhausel) was placed in this square, in which those who disturbed the silence of the night were exhibited during day time. In 1757 it was relocated in the Small Square.
The wooden stage installed in the square was dismantled for fear of fires.
The passageway between the Large Square and the Schiller Square, built as early as 1558, was now widened (The General’s Hall, Generalloch);
The first two hackney carriages appeared in the Large Square;
Five lamps and an iron grid were installed around the statue of Nepomuk;
Lime trees were planted in front of the Catholic Church;
The two guard canons situated in front of the building situated at no. 7 were taken away;
The Square was paved with granite stones and lime trees were planted
In July 1950, the central part of the square was transformed in a green area and all the urban furniture pieces in the square were dismantled.
The park which had been inauspiciously implanted in the central square of a city with a medieval mark was wiped off. In 1986 the statue of scholar Gheorghe Lazăr, produced by sculptor Radu Aftenie, was placed in the square
The square entered a profound rehabilitation process. Within this process the statue of Gheorghe Lazar was demolished and replaced in 2006 with a smaller sized version of the first statue (it is 3.2 meters high), produced by the same sculptor. The iron grid fountain was recreated here and the square was paved with granite and stone pavement.
The Fountain of the Large Square
The existence of a fountain in this location is mentioned in 1538, its basin being used by women to wash clothes and its gutters were used by animals to drink water.
In 1798 the fountain was adorned with a wrought iron shade donated to the city by Fileck, the leather dresser. Fileck also financed the construction of a new basin in 1819. In 1920 the old iron grid of the fountain situated in this square is reinstalled. The grid was donated by general Falkenhayn in 1916 and on top it had a stork with a snake in its beak. In 1948 the fountain was demolished. In 2006 the iron grid fountain was recreated.
Statue of Roland
Between 1550 and 1783 the pole of infamy was placed in the Large Square, crowned by the stone statue of Roland, sculpted in 1550 by master Onofforus, a Florentine craftsman it seems. A statue of Roland from the 17th century is sheltered by the Brukenthal National Museum, supposedly the third such statue to be placed in the square. It has a height of 1.05 meters. Knight Roland was represented in all the important cities in Germany by large dimensions statues presenting a man in his armor, with a sword in his hand, being the symbol of the legislative autonomy of that particular town.
Statue of Nepomuk
Since 1734 the Large Square was dominated by the statue of Nepomuk, erected by the city commander, general Wallis.
John of Nepomuk is a national saint of the Czech Republic, who was drowned in the Vltava river at the behest of Wenceslaus, King of the Romans and King of Bohemia
In 1948 the statue of Nepomuk was moved in the second courtyard of the Brukenthal Museum. Now it can be seen in the courtyard of the Roman-Catholic Parish House.
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Georg Schoenpflug von Gambsenberg@ 16/07/2014, 1:08