Savannah is for Squares!
Many visitors new to the Savannah area often question the quaint little parks they see driving. The questions may become a little more urgent when...
Savannah is for Squares!
Many visitors new to the Savannah area often question the quaint little parks they see driving. The questions may become a little more urgent when one is forced to drive counter-clockwise around such parks. But again and again, it is both a favorite point of interest and one of curiosity for many travelers. “What is with all of these squares?”
When General James Oglethorpe founded Savannah in 1733, he originally intended the first squares to be for military exercises. Many have noted that the initial plan for the city’s layout very much resembled that of a military camp, perhaps lingering in the subconscious mind of Oglethorpe at the time of Savannah’s planning. It was perhaps noted that the forced space between houses may have been a late reaction to the Great London Fire of 1666, creating a reluctance to tolerate cramped conditions. The very first squares were Johnson, Telfair, Ellis, and Wright.
There have been twenty four squares erected in all, nearly all of them either preserved or restored to their former glory. They’re used mainly in the interest of aesthetics, recreation, and even serving as memorials for Savannah’s historical gems. For example, Wright Square is the burial site of the Native American icon and good friend of Oglethorpe, Tomochichi. The squares contain plaques dedicated to the history of Savannah, sometimes as many as two or three, where the visitors may freely read of Savannah’s past. Most of these squares are still standing today, all except for Elbert Square (now the Savannah Civic Center) and Liberty Square (represented by the ‘Flame of Freedom’ in front of Savannah’s Courthouse.)
The squares can vary by appearance, though most seem to follow the theme of a grid-like garden with some sort of memorial or statue at the center. Some do deviate. Ellis Square is almost completely concrete with a walk-through fountain right near City Market. Troup Square is a personal favorite of this blogger, sporting a large and lovely spherical astrolabe as a controversial sign of modern culture.
I’ve met many guests that are determined to see all of our famous squares. If you would like to start your own hunt for our luxurious city-wide gardens, feel free to visit us. The Savannah Bed & Breakfast Inn is located at Chatham Square and some of our rooms such as the Live Oak Suite overlook the square!
Our boards on Pinterest provide a great visual snapshot of things to do during your stay in Savannah. Check out our boards for our favorite restaurants, ice cream, coffee shops and museums! We also highlight upcoming events on facebook and twitter.
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