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Náměstí Dr. E. Beneše square

The heart of the city. A place swept through by the wind of history. A square where the past is still remembered and the present shows off its art. We know it simply as "Benešák". Our main square.

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Location
Address:nám. Dr. E. BenešeLiberec, 460 01GPS:50°46'9.8''N; 15°03'29.6''E[Map]
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Bigger than you might expect

Lots of people think of "Benešák" just as the area in front of the Town Hall, although the actual square is almost three times longer. It is home not only to the grand Town Hall building, but also to the equally pretty theatre, and extends as far as the original Public Transport Stop with the Feast of Giants sculpture by David Černý.


Art on literally every corner

One sight you can’t miss is Neptune’s Fountain, which, built in 1826, attracted not only the god of everything aquatic to our square, but also his dolphin. The corner by the town hall is adorned with a stylized bronze tank track commemorating the troop invasion of 1968, and right next to it various works of art alternate every year or so in this place of honour by the Town Hall. The lavishly decorated Town Hall building is complemented very nicely by the equally grand theatre building, with its muses on the roof, with the somewhat more modest award-winning weather station peeking out from between the two buildings. The square ends with the provocative Public Transport Stop, where, on a huge table, artist David Černý serves up the main course, a severed human head. This "Feast of Giants" rife with overt and hidden symbolism, refers to the former Czech-German-Jewish community and is definitely worth taking a good look at. And, while you’re at it, don’t miss Liberec’s cats. We’re talking about those mosaic creatures that leer out at you from various corners - that's how playful the local street art is.


Out on the tiles

Watch where you put your feet! You just need to walk across the bit in front of the Town Hall (you could say it's only a few metres) and as you do so, you're actually walking through Mníšek and Liberec all the way to Tanvald. That's because the various colours of the granite pavement under your feet alternate nicely; the yellow is Tanvald granite, the black is Fojtka, and the soft pink is our beautiful stone from Liberec. Have you ever heard of geoglyphs - large patterns on the ground that are easy to see from high up? Not that we’re comparing them to something like the famous Nazca Lines in Peru, but we do have an interesting picture in our paving stones here. In front of the new Town Hall there’s a band of dark tiles marking out the floor plan of the old Town Hall, and you'll also find a memorial stone bearing the year 1603, when the "old" Town Hall was completed. Nowadays it’s hard to imagine that there also used to be trams criss-crossing the square, but there were. They trundled their way up to the square along Moskevská Street, then rushed back down via Pražská. Take a look as you walk these streets, as you can still find the tracks left there as a memento. 


The focal point of life

The main square. A place which has changed its appearance and name over the years (going by names such as Staroměstské (Old Town), Altstädter Ring, Adolf Hitler-Platz, Bojovníků za mír (Fighters for Peace), etc.). This square has resounded to the footsteps of historical figures later lauded or condemned in the history books. The emperor himself passed through here, the Nazis marched to the beat of a drum, the tanks of the Warsaw Pact troops rumbled across the cobbles, and the people of Liberec jingled their keys as tribute to the Velvet Revolution. People still demonstrate, have fun or celebrate here to this day. This is the beating heart of the city.