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Edinburgh, Scotland is Essentially a City with History and Atmosphere

Aug 17, 2007
Edinburgh Castle

A lone piper plays a haunting lament from the castle walls. Over 200,000 people stand silently holding their breath as the melody evokes a mixture of sadness and pride - of battles lost and won and soldiers gone but not forgotten. The piper plays the last notes as the flames around the brazier flicker and die out.

A thunderous applause and the fireworks begin cascading over and above the walls of the castle. This spectacle marks the end of the annual military tattoo which attracts visitors from all over the world, in late summer, to Scotland's capital city - Edinburgh.

Built on ancient volcanic rocks, Edinburgh has evolved around the ancient castle which dominates the city. Settlements have been recorded here as early as 600BC.

There is so much to see and do here that you will be spoilt for choice. To experience the essential Edinburgh there are places you need to include in your itinerary.

Holyrood House and Abbey

Steeped in Royal History you can view over 100 portraits of Scottish kings in the Palace. Built in 1671 for Charles 11, it was also home to Mary Queen of Scots for a number of years. The Abbey was founded by David in 1128 and was a popular sanctuary for debtors throughout its history. The Abbey is now a ruin but the palace is still used by the royal family and Church of England.

Lady Stair's House

Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson are just three of Scotland's famous sons. Here you will find literary manuscripts and relics including Scott's writing desk.

Canongate Tolbooth

This museum houses a fantastic collection of tartan and highland dress.

National Museum of Antiquities

Everything you want to know about Scottish life, from the Stone Age to modern times, can be found here.

Gladstone's Land
This six-storey tenement building from 1620 has been lovingly restored to represent a typical seventeenth century home. In addition it has a shop front displaying goods from the time.

The Cathedral

St Giles cathedral was constructed around the fourteenth century and is situated on the 'Royal Mile' between the Castle and Holyrood Palace. Records show that a church has stood here since 854. It is the final resting place of scottish reformer and theologian John Knox whose famous works include 'The History of the Reformation in Scotland'. The most recent addition is the 'chapel of the Thistle - a chivalric company of knights of which the Queen is head.

Festivals

Travel to Edinburgh at almost any time of the year and you will find a festival of one sort or another going on. Books, films, comedy, variety acts, international acts, street theatre and many more. Attend the biggest party in the world on New Year's Eve.

Whatever your interests, Edinburgh has something for you. Walk around this fascinating city and soak up the history that makes Scotland unique in the world.
About the Author
Ann Coveney is a freelance writer and part time school teacher. She can be hired to write articles on a wide range of topics. The web site she uses the most for low cost travel and hotel booking is AskVicki.co.uk
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