The central and largest square in Beirut and its city center was built by the Ottomans in the 19th century. Its initial name Place des Canons referred to the Russian artillery placed there in the 18th century; the name was taken up again by the French in 1860. The square was renamed in memory of the Lebanese
nationalists who were executed by the Turks during WW1. Martyrs’ Square was completely destroyed during the Lebanese civil war. In the early 1990s, its reconstruction began and the sculpture by Renato Marino Mazzacurati (Italy) was restored.