Savannah is the City of Squares
Savannah was founded by Gen. James E. Oglethorpe in February 1733. His original city plan established a pattern of open spaces, mostly about one acre in size called city squares. The first square was laid out in 1733 and the last in 1851.
There were 24 squares in General Oglethorpe's plan of which 21 squares have survived. The squares were functional. They served as a community center. A well was placed in or near each square. Also, in the event of an attack by the Indians or Spaniards, the people were to gather in the squares to defend themselves. The north and south ends of the square were for tithing lots. There were 40 tithing lots per square, each was 60 feet by 90 feet. Every family was given one of the tithing lots. The east and west sides were for Trust Lots. These were held by the Trustees for public buildings and churches. The squares are separated by 2 city blocks on all sides.
The Historic District's size, 2 1/2 miles square, and system of squares make Savannah a walking city. All monuments are within walking distance of each other. Most squares have a monument in the center. This can be a little confusing because one would expect to find Gen. Oglethorpe's monument in Oglethorpe Square. This is not the case. This is because the squares were named long before the monuments were placed in them.
Forty-three movies have been filmed in Savannah's squares, Forrest Gump, Scarlet, the sequel to Gone With the Wind, Something to Talk About, and Glory to name a few.
Savannah's squares were also fortunate because Gen. Sherman did not burn Savannah during his march to the sea. He occupied the city from December 1864 until February 1865. The city was left standing and intact when the union forces departed. So if you're looking for the best vacation ever, put on your walking shoes and come to the city of squares and hospitality, Savannah, GA.
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