Edinburgh, Scotland - Capital city

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Dominated by Castle Rock, Edinburgh is in turn dominated by the castle on the rock. Constrained by the need for protective city walls, Edinburgh old town was constrained with the Flodden Wall throughout the Middle Ages. A series of wars with the English ensured that the town remained behind the wall - in 1544 the English failed to take the castle, but burnt the town. Edinburgh was in need of its city walls for centuries

It was only after the Act of Union with England in 1707, and the subsequent defeat of the Jacobites, that the English kings felt secure enough to start work on the great Georgian New Town in the late 18th century, using a series of squares as seen below. The young architect, James Craig, was chosen to design the new town. His scheme is classical, but recognisably Scottish

A strong cultural influence developed in Edinburgh in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was known as the Scottish Enlightenment, and included the philosopher David Hume, the first economist Adam Smith, , the poet Robert Burns, the painter Allan Ramsey, Sir Walter Scott.

Today Edinburgh is known for its shopping in Princes Street, for the Royal Mile and for the Festival. The new Scottish Assembly sits in Edinburgh

Princes Street red phone box

A ever-changing scene to tax the photographer by day or by night

And to the north is the bridge over the Firth of Forth and the port of Leith

Some of the things to see in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Sits high on Castle Rock with commanding views over the city
Charlotte Square
Built in 1800, the north side was designed by Robert Adam. Some of the houses have been restored to their original state
Gladstone's Land
A restored 6 storey, merchants house from the 17th century, showing building upwards inside the city walls
Huntly House
A preserved 16th century town house, now a museum of local history
John Knox's House
The home of the 16th century preacher, who established the Presbyterian Church
Lady Stair's House
A museum to the Scottish writers, Burns, Scott and Stevenson, housed in a fine house built in 1622
National Gallery of Scotland
A fine collection of Scottish and European paintings
Outlook Tower
The tower was added in 1853 to a 17th century building, now offers fine views over the city
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Evolved from its roots as the guest house for the Holyrood Abbey into a Royal palace. Mary Queen of Scots held court here for 6 years from 1561. The 17th century staterooms are open to the public
St Giles Cathedral
Completed in 1243, but destroyed by the English in 1385. The cathedral ahs been rebuilt and extended over the centuries
Scott Memorial
A remarkable memorial to Sit Walter Scott, showing 64 of his characters

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