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Edinburgh, Scotland

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Edinburgh, ScotlandEdinburgh skyline
photo source
authorshipChristian Bickel
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Edinburgh is the second biggest city in Scotland. It is where the Scottish Parliament is located. Its Old Town and New Town quarters are also a World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh has a population of around 472,000 people. The city is a major tourist destination in Scotland. It hosts numerous festivals throughout the year including Edinburgh Fringe, the largest performing arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh International Festival, Burns Night, and so on.

Edinburgh on Google Maps Street View

The area around Edinburgh has been settled since the Bronze Age. It is not fully clear when Edinburgh was established. It could be any time between 9th to the 11th century. It is generally accepted that Edinburgh has been established by the 12th century, during which time it already has its famous castle.

In 1492 Edinburgh became the national capital when King James IV of Scotland moved the Royal Court from Stirling to Holyrood. In 1639 King James VI of Scotland ascended the English and Irish thrones, and brought together a united kingdom under the House of Stuart. While the Parliament of Scotland stayed in Edinburgh, King James VI moved to London to rule there.

The 1707 Act of Union, opposed by many Scots, was ratified by the Parliament of Scotland. It joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, creating the Parliament of Great Britain based in the Palace of Westminster. Scotland was without its own Parliament for the next 300 years, only to reconvene in 1999. By the 19th century Edinburgh was surpassed by Glasgow as the largest city in Scotland.

Donaldson's College, EdinburghDonaldson's College, Edinburgh
photo source
authorshipDavid Monniaux
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Edinburgh World Heritage Site

"Old and New Towns of Edinburgh" are a World Heritage Site inscribed during the 19th session of the World Heritage Committee in Berlin, Germany, on 4 - 9 December, 1995.

The Old Town preserves the medieval plan and many historic buildings of the Reformation-era. It comprises Edinburgh Castle on one end, and the Royal Mile, which comprises several different streets, leading from it. Branching out from the Royal Mile are narrow alleyways called closes, many of which are just a few feet wide. They lead downhill on either sides of the Royal Mile in a herringbone pattern.

The New Town is the central area of Edinburgh. It was developed in stages between 1765 and 1850, and is often hailed as a masterpiece of city planning. Its most famous street, Princes Street, faces Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town, separated by a depression which was formerly Nor Loch.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 55 57 W 3 13, Lothian Region, Scotland.
Inscription Year: 1995
Type: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, IV

Going to Edinburgh

By Plane
The Edinburgh International Airport (EDI) is located some 10 miles to the west of downtown. Budget travelers can take the Airlink Express bus that links the airport to the Edinburgh city center at Waverley Bridge. The journey takes 25 minutes while the fare is £3.50. An even more economical option is to take the Lothian Bus No. 35 to Ocean Terminal. The fare is just £1.20.

By Train
The Waverley Railway Station, completed in the 1902, stands as both the railway hub of Edinburgh, and a tourist attraction in its own right. The trains from London leaves King Cross Station, taking approximately 5 hours to reach Waverley station in Edinburgh.

Going around Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a relatively compact city. Most of its places of interest are within the Old Town and New Town, which are both within walking distance. The streets of Edinburgh are charming and full of character, making a walk thorough them a pleasure on its own.

The two major bus companies in Edinburgh are Lothian and First.

Edinburgh Castle, ScotlandEdinburgh Castle, Scotland
photo source
authorshipNevit Dilmen
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Places of Interest in Edinburgh

  1. National Gallery of Scotland
    One of the best art galleries in Scotland.
  2. New Town
    Charming Georgian-style architecture from the late 18th century.
  3. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art & Dean Gallery
    Gallery housed in a 19th-century school building.
  4. National Museum of Scotland
    Purpose-built museum housing exhibits that chronicle the history of Scotland.
  5. Scottish National Portrait Gallery
    Visual history of Scotland as told through portrait paintings.
  6. Edinburgh Castle
    Castle complex from the 12th to the 20th centuries.
  7. Gladstone's Land
    Former merchant's house providing glimpse into life in the 17th century.
  8. Parliament House
    Majestic Scottish parliament building from the 17th century.
  9. St Giles' Cathedral
    Church of Scotland and mother church of Presbyterianism.
  10. Museum of Childhood
    Endearing museum that offers a glimpse into childhood.
  11. Palace of Holyroodhouse
    The Queen's official Scottish residence.
  12. Greyfriars Bobby
    Old drinking fountain near gateway to Greyfriars Church.

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