esplanade ˈe-splə-ˌnäd , ˌe-splə-ˈnäd noun
: a long stretch of open level ground (paved or grassy) for walking, often found beside a seashore
The word esplanade has appeared in 26 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on July 7 in “Erdogan Signs Decree Allowing Hagia Sophia to Be Used as a Mosque Again” by Carlotta Gall:
ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree Friday ordering Hagia Sophia to be opened for Muslim prayers, an action likely to provoke international furor around a World Heritage Site cherished by Christians and Muslims alike for its religious significance, for its stunning structure and as a symbol of conquest.
…. Entry to the monument would be free of charge, foregoing the ticket price from several million visitors a year, and the first prayers inside Hagia Sophia will take place on July 24. Just before he spoke, several hundred people gathered outside Hagia Sophia to celebrate a prayer of thanksgiving, recording the call of the muezzin on their phones, and then bent in unison for the evening prayer on the esplanade in front of the building.