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Ich habe diese Sätze gefunden :

Wo ist bitte das Cafe? - Das ist an dem Rosenplatz.

Wo ist der Markt? - Auf dem Kirchplatz.

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possibly relevant:… – Vogel612 Jan 18 '14 at 17:23
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Basically, the difference is clear:

"An dem (oder am) Rosenplatz"

means that the Café is located adjacent to the place.

"Auf dem Platz"

means on top of it.

A "Markt" (market), not to be confused with "Supermarkt" (market center) in an European city, is comparable to a bazar, so it consists of "Stände" (counters with a tent) that are placed on the market place. See the image from a market in Germany (From de.wikipedia article "Markt"): this image from Wikipedia .

Colloquially, sometimes the wrong preposition is used, but that is bad style.

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I'd like to add that "Markt" is also used in an abstract sense as "market" ... as in stock market... you will find "am Markt" in that context a lot. – Emanuel Jan 18 '14 at 20:00

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