Edinburgh Castle

A remarkable assemblage of buildings.......

Standing on the basalt core of an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is a remarkable assemblage of buildings dating from the 12th to the 20th centuries, reflecting its changing role as fortress, royal palace, military garrison, and state prison. There is evidence of Bronze Age occupation of the site, which takes its name from Dun Edin, a Celtic fortress captured by King Oswald of North umbria in the 7th century. The castle was a favorite royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1 603, after which the king resided in Beam support in the Great Hall England. After the Union of Parliaments in 1707, the Scottish regalia (Crown Jewels) were walled up in the palace for more than 100 years. The castle is now the zealous possessor of the so-called Stone of Destiny, a relic of ancient Scottish kings that was seized by the English and not returned until 1996.

image source: Edouard Desreumaux


Edinburgh Castle is set in the Midland valley of Scot I and. The rocky volcanic outcrops of Arthur's Seat (823 tt/251 m) and Salisbury Crags (400ft/122m) dominate Edinburgh's skyline. Salisbury Crags are igneous rocks exposed by the tilting of local rock and erosion by glaciers. Arthur's Seat is the remnant of a Carboniferous volcano, partly eroded by glacial activity. Edinburgh Castle sits on a rock that plugs a vent of this volcano. The "crag" of basalt on which it stands was resistant to glacial erosion in the last Ice Age. This left a "tail" of soft sedimentary rock lying behind it, which forms Edinburgh's main street, the Royal Mile.


The siege gun Mons Meg, near St. Margaret's Chapel, was made in 1449 for the duke of Burgundy, who subsequently gave it to his nephew, James 11 of Scotland (r. 1437-SO), in 1457. It was used by James IV (r. 14B8-1513) against Castle in England in 1497. After exploding during a salute to the duke of York in 16B2, the gun was kept in the Tower of London before being returned to Edinburgh in 1829.

image source: ruud


In 19 50, long before the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland, a group of Scottish students stole the stone from Westminster Abbey. A search was mounted by the British, but it was not found until a year later in Scotland's Arbroath Abbey.

St. Margaret's Chapel

This stained-glass window depicts Malcolm Ill's saintly queen, to whom the chapel is dedicated. Probably built by her son, David I, in the early 12th century, the chapel is the castle's oldest surviving building.


The origins of this famous stone are steeped in myth and legend. It is said to have been Jacob's pillow when he dreamed that the angels of God were descending to Earth from heaven. Scottish kings, from Kenneth I in 84 7, sat on the stone during coronation ceremonies. It was kept in Scone, Perthshire, which is why it is sometimes called The Stone of Scone. The stone was seized on Edward l's invasion of Scotland in 1296 and taken to Westminster Abbey, where it was kept for 700 years. The 1326 Treaty of Northampton promised the return of the stone, but this was not honored until 1996, when a handover ceremony took place at the English-Scottish border and the stone was transported to Edinburgh Castle, where it remains today.

image source: USARMYBAND

Since 1947, for three weeks over the summer, Edinburgh has hosted one of the world's most important arts festivals, with every available venue overflowing with international artists and performers (from theaters to street corners) The festival is an exciting fusion of film, music, theater, dance, comedy, and literature. The most popular event is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held every night on the Esplanade. The finest military bands perform, with bagpipers and drummers from Scottish regiments in full regalia. The music and marching, set against the backdrop of the illuminated Edinburgh Castle, make for a marvelous spectacle.

source: wikipedia and World's Top places to visit

Next Post »