An Introduction

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, a rare green gem amongst European capitals.  A city that captures the imagination, and dazzles with beautiful monuments, medieval architecture, and stunning samples of the natural wonders that Scotland has to offer.

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EDINBURGH CASTLE overlooking the city.

People started to congregate there in the Bronze age, but it didn’t become a city of note until the 16th century and boomed during the European Renaissance.

During the 18th Century the city became known as the Athens of the North due to the Greco-Roman style architecture in addition to the rise of the Scottish intellectual society which was leading Europe in many ways at the time.

These times have been commemorated on Calton Hill where the National monument was built and left unfinished in 1829.

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FROM TOP National Monument on Calton HIll

BOTTOM Hollyrood Palace.

Taken from ‘Arthur’s seat’

The city started out rather small as most medieval cities do, and was secured by defensive walls around three sides.  This caused the city to go up rather than out and makes it seem almost unnecessarily ‘tall’ even today.

So why were there only walls around three sides? Well the fourth side was protected by a medieval, gravity operated, state of the art, sewage system.

That is, the waste was thrown out of every window, rains would wash it down the hill, and a big lake of rather rancid stench would form a barrier to keep invading forces out, and also the scared masses in.

In 1766 a competition was run to see who could design a solution to the now rampant problem of overcrowding.  The result is what is now referred to as ‘New town’ and resulted in the giant lake of poo being drained, eventually to be replaced by the current train station and for the giant ‘North Bridge’ being built over the top.

This enabled the city to expand and conditions to improve drastically.

Insert compensation joke here. Monuments of one of several Graveyards.

The result is a city of contrast from the old to the very old, and a mix of modern with the endeavour to not upset the look and feel of the city.  Nature has been preserved as well as any place in the modern world resulting in a city with a wonderful kaleidoscope rarely seen throughout the world.

Fast Facts:

Founded in: has had human settlement since the Bronze age

Became British in: 1603 when King James VI succeeded to the English thrown uniting the two kingdoms

Population: approx. 500 000

Number of pubs: over 600