Thursday, August 12, 2010

Princes Street Gardens--Edinburgh

I referred to my guidebooks and notes to check the information about the Princes Street Gardens and found some information we didn't hear. Here, directly from  Frommer's Scotland
 As the New Town grew, the city fathers decided to turn the area below Edinburgh Castle into the Princes Street Gardens, now one of the city's main beauty spots. The area was once Nor Loch, a body of water in the city center, but it was drained to make way for a railway line. (When it was still a bog, the great philosopher David Hume fell in, couldn't remove himself, and called for help from a passing woman. She recognized him, pronounced him an atheist, and wouldn't offer her umbrella to pull him out of the mire until he recited the Lord's Prayer.)
We didn't hear the story about Hume while we were there, but we were told several stories about the area's state before the Loch was drained.

It was drained around 1800, but before that it was the sewer and the reservoir (Join me: "eeeeeeywwwww!!!!") The city's nickname was "Auld Reekie" because of Nor Loch and the smoke from factories.

It was also used for drowning witches. Those suspected had their thumbs tied to their ankles and were dunked. If they survived, then they were assumed to be witches and were burned as such. If they drowned, it proved their innocence and they were given a Christian burial.

Now, why didn't Frommer's tell us that?

We climbed the path up from Princes Street Gardens to the castle, seen here with the gray skies we had our whole time in Scotland. (SkyWatch time everyone--for more of the world's skies visit here.)


J Bar said...

Great shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Rosadimaggio63 said...

bellissimo giardino da visitare :-)
Deve essere un posto anche molto fresco !
Grazie della visita e buona giornata :-)

Lew said...

Beautiful flowers! And I love the shot of the castle on the hill! But that is twisted logic for identifying witches, in either case the suspect is dead.

katney said...

I don't think it was the philosophers who were in charge of that, Lew.

Paulie said...

I am sure the families were happy to know their family member was not a witch but killed anyway. sigh

The flwoers are gorgeous!