Art: EUROPE'S PLAZAS

Masterworks from 2,000 Years of Design

MAN, a gregarious animal, enjoys a spectacle, and on momentous occasions likes to gather informally with his fellows. To satisfy this urge, densely packed cities have yielded up their most precious commodity—space—to create the great, timeless squares, piazze, places and Plätse. The best and most famous are the squares of Europe, handsome units of big-city living, often breathtakingly beautiful, exciting to walk through, and a breath of fresh air amidst the clutter of urban living. Against their splendid backdrops have unrolled many of the high moments of history....

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