Indre By, Aarhus, Denmark
56°09′27.5″N 10°12′26.2″E / 56.157639°N 10.207278°E / 56.157639; 10.207278
Lille Torv (lit. Little Square is a cobbled public square located in the Indre By neighborhood in Aarhus, Denmark. It is situated between the squares of Store Torv and Immervad in the historic Latin Quarter neighborhood and it is one of the oldest public squares in Aarhus. The streets of Vestergade, Guldsmedgade, Immervad and Badstuegade radiates from Lille Torv. It is today a venue for public events and gatherings in the city. The square is home to some notable buildings such as the storied Meulengracht’s House and the listed Business- and Agricultural Bank of Jutland.
2 Notable buildings
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Little Square was originally a swampy area outside the city walls of the medieval town. In c. 1200, the area was drained and in 1250 Little Square was established where major thoroughfares met. When Little Square had been established the street of Immervad was created, crossing the Aarhus River. The square today has roughly the same dimensions and proportions as when it was initially created in 1250. The name “Lille Torv” was applied to the square in the 1700s whereas it had previously been known as Gammeltorv (Old Square) or simply “Torvet” (The Square). Since the 1200s, Little Square, along with Great Square, has been one of the primary market squares in Aarhus. Weekly markets were held here up until the 1800s when farmers and traders from the catchment areas around the town would gather here and trade. In 1896, the city council closed the St. Oluf’s Market and in the years after the rest of the markets in the city closed as traffic gradually increased and took over the public spaces.
In 1904, electrical trams started operating in Aarhus and Little Square became a hub where tram lines would intersect and trams would stop for breaks. Buses and trams had to negotiate Lille Torv to get through the narrow, curved streets of Guldsmedgade and Klostergade, eventually confining pedestrians to sidewalks. In the late 1990s, the Aarhus River was reopened, removing the former street of Åboulevarden that covered it in the process. In connection with this project it no longer made sense to have motorized traffic at Little Square and it again became the domain