The European Renaissance was a time of massive economic and cultural growth following the stagnation of the Middle Ages. Beginning in Italy in the 14th century, the movement spread to all parts of the continent during the next 300 years. The outstanding cultural and artistic heritage of the Renaissance can still be seen today in many of the great cities of the period, including Florence and Venice in Italy, Bruges in Belgium and Toledo in Spain. The Renaissance started to change the face and form of the more important towns of Europe, as grand avenues were created to connect palaces of Lords and Patricians and public squares. By the Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, new quarters were being built outside some medieval towns, while others were being completely redesigned with new avenues and facades; diagonal axes followed, framing distant vistas of palaces, monuments, triumphal arches, commemorative columns and statues."Primary straight streets" was the basis of Renaissance urbanism, together with simmetry and balanced axial proprotions, placement of monumental or representative buildings, perspective and impressive views.