Edinburgh, Scotland: the capital of the state, which supposedly does not
In the Scottish capital, there are the official residence of the Queen of England, and the University of world renown, and haunted castles, and whiskey Museum, and the Scots in the amount of 465 thousand. All these treasures Edinburgh has been saving since the sixth century.
The city of nice, an ancient town
The ancient capital of Scotland is Edinburgh. De jure it is so today, although the actual modern administrative center of the country – Glasgow. Before the conquest of Scotland by the British, Edinburgh was the residence of local kings. All guidebooks with striking unanimity call it the architectural gem of the United Kingdom.
The official residence of the Queen of England in Scotland – Holyroodhouse Palace (The Palace of Holyroodhouse, House of the Holy cross) with an octagonal tower topped with a serrated crown. Nearby – the ruins of the once majestic Abbey of the XII century. The Palace in the vicinity of the Abbey began to be built in 1498 by James IV. Holyroodhouse stands on a line connecting two hills – Calton and Arthur’s Throne. Arthur’s throne is the highest in Edinburgh (250 meters above sea level). And all seven city hills.
Mary Stuart lived in Holyrood Palace (she gave birth to king James VI of Scotland in 1566) and in 1745 English Prince Charles gave a ball at the Palace to celebrate the capture of Edinburgh.
In the Palace was murdered private Secretary of Mary Stuart, the Italian David Rizio. 57 dagger wounds were found on his body. Today the murder site is marked by a special sign, next to which “bloodstains” on the floor. Well, and of course, the night Ministers repeatedly…
In addition to ghosts, you can find a collection of antique furniture, family jewels and portraits of 100 Scottish kings in the Museum.
Holyrood Palace is perfectly visible from the walls of Edinburgh castle, securely protecting the regalia of Scottish crowns. The castle stands on a high rock, the spur of an ancient volcano, and has been standing for a thousand years. And the first buildings on this stone Foundation appeared much earlier – about 1400 years ago. In the XII century built the chapel of St. Margaret, Queen, wife of king Malcolm III of Scotland, who died in Edinburgh castle in 1093.
Numerous restructuring was constantly changing view of the castle, finally in 1927, here staged a Military memorial to Scottish soldiers who died in the First (and later Second) world war.
Edinburgh castle was intended to protect against possible attacks, so its majestic bastions and fortress walls are devoid of any decorations, but in abundance equipped with numerous artillery pieces, including the famous cyclopean bombard Mons Meg, cast in 1457. One of the fortress guns blazes every afternoon, as it did many years ago. Edinburgh castle built of stone, whose age – 340 million years (breed – the result of a fracture of the earth’s crust). The castle is huge, to get around it all, it will take a whole day. In one of the rooms there is a restaurant where you can feel like a guest of the Scottish Royal family. According to witnesses, and within these walls there are plenty of ghosts.
In the barracks, the hospital, casemates of the castle Museum exhibition is arranged. The castle is guarded by a company of Scottish guards.
Parades are held regularly on the square near the castle gate, including the famous international festival of military bands “Tatu”, where pipers and drummers perform.
Historically, Edinburgh is divided by the rock on which the castle is located into two parts – the Old and the New city. The last one is a shopping and business center. However, this does not mean that here you will find only modern buildings made of glass and concrete. Scots hold sacred all that is connected with their history. On the territory of the New city there is a monument to Walter Scott (one of the two in Edinburgh), the Scottish Royal Bank (located on St. Andrew, the patron Saint of Scotland). Charlotte square is surrounded by buildings of the XVIII century. The port district of Leith is full of restaurants, eateries and pubs.
The Royal Park near the rock dividing the city into two parts is the drained Loch nor, which became a ravine. It is crossed by a bridge leading to the rich quarter of Port bridge.
In the Old town, to the East of Edinburgh castle, on the hill of Calton is a monument to the Nation, a monument to Nelson and two observatories (one turned into a Museum). On the famous cobblestone street of the Royal Mile, leading to the Palace of Holyrood, is the Cathedral of St. Gilles, built in 1829. During the construction, fragments of earlier buildings were used, so the overall architectural design of the Cathedral is very unusual. On this historic street is the building of the City Assembly, many monuments and ancient buildings. In this part of the city the streets are very narrow and the houses are quite high (up to 10 floors). Chronicles indicate the presence in the XVIII century, even twelve-storey houses. Currently, the Old town is considered a poor quarter.
If your plans include shopping, it is necessary to walk along rose street and Royal Mail, part of which is the high street – around it is concentrated the Old city.
Hiking around Edinburgh, preferably automotive. It is no accident that they warn that Edinburgh streets are three dimensions: length, width and depth. The city is full of stone stairs, sometimes very multi-stage, they are a mandatory part of the architectural appearance.