Scotland: Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle's maingate, high atop Castle Rock
Edinburgh Castle was home to kings and queens for many centuries. Queen Margaret (who was later made a saint) died here in 1093. The chapel built in her honour by her son, King David I, is Edinburgh’s oldest building. St Margaret’s Chapel still hosts weddings and christenings today.
St Margaret's Chapel
St Margaret's Chapel is the oldest building in the castle complext, dating back to the 12th-century. One of the few structures this old that has survived in any Scottish castle.
The Great Hall
The Great Hall, completed in 1511 for King James IV, hosted grand banquets and state events. But the king had little time to enjoy his new addition. James IV died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, fighting English forces sent by his brother-in-law, King Henry VIII of England.
The Royal Palace
Above the door to the Royal Palace are the gilded initials MAH – for Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley. Mary gave birth to James VI in the Royal Palace in 1566. He became king of Scotland at 13 months old and united the crowns of Scotland and England in 1603.
The Honours of Scotland are the oldest Crown jewels in Britain. Made of gold, silver and precious gems, they were created in Scotland and Italy during the reigns of James IV and James V. The crown, sceptre and sword of state were first used together for the coronation of a monarch in 1543, when Mary Queen of Scots came to the throne. The iconic Stone of Destiny, used for centuries to inaugurate monarchs, is also on display in the Crown Room.
Scottish National War Memorial
The Scottish National War Memorial is located in Edinburgh Castle and commemorates Scottish service personnel and civilians, and those serving with Scottish regiments, who died in the two world wars and subsequent conflicts. The memorial was commissioned in 1919, and the monument formally opened in 1927. It is housed in a redeveloped barrack block in Crown Square, at the heart of the castle, and incorporates numerous monuments.The Rolls of Honour kept in the memorial include the names of those Scots servicemen and women and Scots civilians that died in all wars after 1914.
360° views from atop Castle Rock
The walk up to Castle Rock
Site from around the Castle complex
And a visit to the Edinburgh Castle whisky shop
Portcullis Gate & Argyle Tower, on the exit from the Castle
The reverse view through the Main Gate toward the Esplanade
The Esplanade and stadium has a bit of a Harry Potter feel and is where the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place each year during August. If you haven't seen the Military Tattoo you can see recent performances on YouTube here.
Views of the Royal Military Tattoo stadium
And the Grand View down the Royal Mile... next post!!