It rose around the seventeenth century, constituting one of the first westward expansions of a city that for centuries was forbidden to extend outside the walls. Being located in one of the richest districts of the city, the square is considered among the most in. It is dominated by the column dedicated to all Neapolitans who fell for freedom during Neapolitan history. Initially it was dedicated to Our Lady of Peace because it was commissioned by Ferdinand II for the peace regained after the riots of 1848.
At the base there are four lions each of which represents Neapolitan martyrs of different historical period:
the dying lion, by Antonio Busciolano, represents the fallen of the Neapolitan Republic of 1799;
the lion pierced by the sword, the work of Stanislao Lista, the fallen carbonari of 1820;
the reclining lion, the work of Pasquale Ricca, with the statute of 1848 under the paw, represents the liberal fallen of the same year;
the standing lion (the only one of the four), the work of Tommaso Solari, is instead dedicated to the fallen Garibaldi in 1860.
Around the obelisk there are several monumental buildings including Palazzo Partanna and Palazzo Calabritto.