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Edinburgh sights

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, a city that preserves many medieval sites, legends and myths in its castles, palaces and churches, and has given the world many great historical victories and tragic defeats. This is a wonderful city where you can spend your whole vacation sightseeing, see beautiful examples of medieval and modern architecture, learn a lot about the history and culture of ancient Scotland.

Edinburgh’s Top 8 Sights

We offer you a brief description of the sights of Edinburgh with photos and names and wish you visit this wonderful city and see all its antiquities and beauty with your own eyes. What is there to see in Edinburgh?

Royal Mile

It is a famous area of Edinburgh, one of its main attractions: several old city streets starting from Edinburgh Castle. The oldest houses of the Royal Mile were built in the 12th century.

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh

The founder of this urban area is rightly considered to be the Scottish King David I. He ordered the beginning of the construction of the castle, organized the city market on Lawnmarket and the “King’s Way” itself, which today is called the High Street.

The main stone building began in the late 16th century, these houses are still inhabited by the local nobility. Then the Royal Mile was repeatedly renovated and rebuilt until Edinburgh residents had a desire to return to the Old Town past.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle - the main attraction of the city

This main tourist attraction in Edinburgh has been the residence of Scottish kings since the 12th century. The first mention of fortifications here dates back to the 6th century BC. It is from Edinburgh Castle that the Royal Mile begins.

In the 17th century the castle was extensively reconstructed, its fortifications were improved, and artillery was used for defense. Edinburgh Castle has become a completely impregnable fortress.

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

It is home to the city’s oldest building, the Chapel of Sts. Margaritas. This is also where the crown of Scotland is kept. At precisely one o’clock every day an artillery gun is fired from the castle. Today it is a museum open to the public.

Holyrood Palace

The residence of the British monarchs is located here. This palace was built during the independence of Scotland, in the 15th century, and later it was rebuilt. Gradually the Holyrood Palace fell into complete disrepair, but in the 20th century it was restored.

Holyrood Palace - Edinburgh

Next to the palace is Holyrood Abbey, built in the 12th century under King David I of Scotland. Several Scottish sovereigns were crowned and later buried there. Today it is a historical monument.

Mary King’s Dead End

It is an underground street located on the Royal Mile. In the 17th century Edinburgh was plagued by a plague epidemic, with many bodies lying in the streets of the city dead from the disease. In order to isolate the outbreak of the epidemic, the authorities decided to wall off the neighborhood.

Mary King cul-de-sac - Edinburgh (Scotland)

Today you can go down to the once plagued and walled up quarter and see the terrible history of the “city of the dead”. Here you can find strange personalities in vintage rags disappearing around the corner, and even the ghost of Mary King herself.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Aegidius

This cathedral belongs to the Scottish Presbyterian Church. It was built in the 12th century and was a Catholic church for hundreds of years until Scotland adopted Protestantism following much of Europe during the Reformation.

St. Egidio's Cathedral in Edinburgh

The cathedral is named in honor of St. John the Baptist. Egidius, the patron saint of cripples, as well as Edinburgh. Its oldest part was built in the early 12th century, and in the 14th century there was a great fire in the cathedral, after which it needed a complete reconstruction.

This cathedral was the cause of the religious wars between the British and the Scots when the former tried to appoint bishops for Scotland. After the Reformation it housed the police, a school, a store, a prison, etc. It was rebuilt in the 19th century.

National Museum of Scotland

The museum combines three large exhibitions: the Museum of Antiquities, whose collection includes archaeological finds made in the country, the Royal Museum, showing the achievements of science and technology, as well as collections of world culture.

National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

In the 1980s, all these collections were combined and a new building was built for them, which today has a dozen and a half galleries devoted to art, design, natural sciences, archaeology, science, technology, etc.

Scott Monument

This neo-Gothic monument was erected in honor of the Scottish writer Walter Scott. It has a height of more than 60 meters, several observation decks, thanks to which you can see almost all of Edinburgh.

The majestic Scott Monument - Edinburgh

The monument was made in the 19th century from local sandstone and consists of several dozen sculptures, most of which are characters from Scott’s novels. In the center is a sculpture of the great writer himself. The monument is a must-see in Edinburgh.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh

It is a magnificent public park, a well-known landmark in Edinburgh and a favorite destination for citizens and visitors at all times of the year. It is artificially divided into two parts, and the divider is the famous Mound Hill.

The park is located between Old Town and New Town and is easily accessible on foot. At the entrance to the park you can see another city landmark, the Flower Clock. There are entertainment events: festivals, concerts, shows, etc.

Princes Street Gardens - Edinburgh (Scotland)

There is a separate entertainment park for children. Spore or dance classes are also available for adults. There’s a fountain, a concert stage, an ice rink in winter, and the “Eye of Edinburgh” – a Ferris wheel 33 meters high.

Video overview of Edinburgh sights

Edinburgh sights map

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