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Piața Mare and Piața Mică from Sibiu, Romania

Called Großer Ring in German, Piața Mare was first mentioned in the 14th century. It served as a stage for main events but also as a site for public executions. The square contained, in typical central European style, a statue of Roland; a cage for the insane; and a column of St. John Nepomouk, which today stands in the courtyard of the Catholic church. Piața Mică, or the Small Ring, initially lay outside the town’s walls, and owes its existence to Sibiu’s second fortification. The houses built during that period followed the circular path of the old defence walls, which explains why the buildings in this square have a circular shape. The arches on the ground floor hosted shops belonging to the local guilds.