The square takes its name from the British-built Grand Casemates, a casemate and bombproof barracks completed in 1817. Located at the northern end of Main Street, the square is lined with numerous pubs, bars and restaurants. Strategically positioned at the entrance of Main Street in the heart of Gibraltar’s shopping district, this lively area was once the site of public executions. Following the refurbishment of the square in the 1990s to replace a car park which occupied half the square, it is the site for al fresco restaurants, cafés and bars. The square is also used to host various major cultural events from live open-air concerts, grand military parades, National Day celebrations and New Year's Eve parties.