Saturday, August 14, 2010

Edinburgh Castle

Up from Princes Street Gardens we visited Edinburgh Castle. The castle hill has been fortified for a good 1300 years, and bits of various centuries are evident in its grounds. And bits of wild Scotland as well, as you can see here. From the top of the wall you can look back at Calton Hill and the Firth of Forth beyond. Hmm, I believe that is either the Scottish National Gallery or the Royal Scottish Academy.

St. Margaret's Chapel , dedicated to Queen Margaret who died here in 1093 and was canonized a saint in 1250, is the oldest building in Edinburgh--built in Romanesque style in 1130. Still popular for a venue for weddings, our guide said it is particularly popular with the father of the bride as only 20 guests can be accomodated.

Not sure which window I'm looking thorough here, but the building was a barracks for soldiers stationed here. It is still officially an army base, but only the commanding officer's residence is occupied as housing today.
The gun that fires at one o'clock each day but Sunday is here on Castle Hill, but it's not thtis one. This is Mons Meg, a massive medieval siege gun which was presented to King James IIin 1357 and used in war against the English. It was also used for firing salutes. The gunstone from one firing in 1588 was found almost two miles away.  I'd say, stay clear--look at the size of those cannonballs. It's barrel burst when it was last fired in 1681.  And interesting story about the castle's guns--Queen Victoria visited the castle during her reign and was most upset that there were no cannons. She ordered that cannons be secured for the Castle--I mean, what is a castle without cannons. A search was made and cannons were secured which now grace the area, but all that could be found were naval cannons.

Another long view to Calton Hill from the walls, that spire in the center is the Scott Monument where the statue of Sir Walter Scott sits reflecting. It is 287 steps to the top for a fantastic view of the city. The view from the caslte and from Calton Hill was enough for us.
Looking out past Princes Street Garden toward the Firth.
Will our day and a half in Edinburgh ever end? Watch here for tea with a local blogger and various other tidbits including Greyfriars Bobby, pub signs, and some guys rappelling down the Parliament Building. You can fit a lot into a day and  a half--probably even more if you don't start out by getting lost.


imac said...

Grand shots as the Rabbit

Paulie said...

I like all the old architecture you have shown. My friend in France got me on to it and now I am hooked for those old buildings@

Paulie said...

The story of the cannons is hilarious. How thoughtful of the Queen . . . lol