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The John Mackintosh Square is a quiet square just off the busy Main Street.
It forms what might be seen as the administrative area of the city. The House of Assembly (where the Gibraltar Parliament meets)
is on its eastern side and the City Hall to the west.
Originally known as Plaza Mayor (Main Square) during the Spanish period, in the 18th century this area was a parade ground and was used to hand out rations.
In the 19th century it was called Commercial Square and was the site of a flea market and public auctions.
It received its current name in 1940 in honour of John Mackintosh, a great philanthropist and
benefactor of Gibraltar. However, it is more popularly know as The Piazza.
The House of Assembly was built by public subscription in 1817 by the Exchange Committee as
the Exchange and Commercial Library during the time of Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Don whose
bust overlooks Main Street. A bust of John Mackintosh, overlooks the square.
The Exchange Committee was the first prominent representative body of the civilian and business community in Gibraltar, pursuing civil rights
and acting as a forum for petitions to the Governor.
The building became home to the Legislative Council in 1950 which was renamed the House of Assembly under the 1969 constitution.
This in turn became the Gibraltar Parliament in 2006 who still meet in this building.