Republic Square is one of the central city squares. It was formed in the 19th century as well as almost all old part of the city. During the Turkish government here existed, so called Stambol gate (Istanbul gate). The road from the gate led towards Istanbul and it was the most fortified gate of the Belgrade fortress. In front of the gate existed a channel filled with water.
Here Turks impaled or decapitated prisoners and placed their heads on sticks with faces turned towards empty fields in front of the gate and road. This method of exhibiting heads of killed persons sent a strong message to people inside and outside Belgrade. After gaining independence this gate was completely destroyed. The city was growing and space was needed for new streets and buildings. Also Belgrade citizens wanted to erase memories of the bloody events that took part at the gate, as well as memories of the all past events during centuries of slavery.
So instead the gate a square was formed. Today this is meeting place of many Belgraders. From here they then go for a walk and drink in one of the numerous cafes in the city center. During the summer season, generally from April until October, cafes are full all day long.