Mart (1480), Forum or Forum teatrum (1520), aria civitas, Ringh (1573), Platz (1713), Marktplatz (1907), Council Square (until 1918), Liberty Square (1920-1945), 23 August Square (1945-1989) and Council Square (after 1990 – Piața Sfatului in Romanian) are names used in documents for the place that has become a symbol of Brasov.
In the early days of the city, the market place was situated at the forking of the stream that crossed the settlement, guarded by a watchtower. With the increase of the perimeter of the fortress, the watchtower acquired a central position. Along with the tower, the furriers’ guild built a unit in the XIVth century. In 1420, the city councillors decided that there should be added a floor to this building for the Council meetings and for the trials; thus, the later Council Hall (Rathaus) was born.
The square was a place for the sale of goods by merchants from Brasov, Transylvania, Hungary, the Romanian country, Moldova, the Balkans and other European cities.
Besides the market days, the square had been along the years a gathering place for public events of the city and the district, the place of public trials, military or civilian parades, promenade for the elite and visitors.
If in 1523 there was recorded a “bridge of lies” in the Council Square, across the creek that flowed through it, from the Horse Fair (today, Bariţiu Street) and it divided into the Gate Street (today, Republicii Street) and the Monastery street (today, Mureşenilor street), subsequently the creek waters were diverted from the market by setting the Graft channel, on the western outskirts of the city.
About the place where fountain is today, in the Middle Ages there was a stone pillar of infamy, for those exposed to public opprobrium, the place of the gallows, which would last until 1792. Two public wells, beautifully decorated, existed in the nineteenth century in the square area.
After the Great Fire of 1689, that burned the city, the buildings bordering the Square were mostly rebuilt, modified, some got new floors. They belonged, over time, to the city notables, patricians and rich merchants, and in recent times some have become institutions, retail buildings, etc.
Until the mid-nineteenth century, the buildings from the Council Square kept a modest, austere, look, lacking the brightness of outstanding architectural creations, but in accordance with the evolution of the medieval town. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, wealthy merchants broke up the monotony of the street layout, building two-storey buildings, adopting different architectural styles, often surprising, but which today give the city its charm.