Monday, September 10, 2012

Edinburgh Castle

By Alexa Bourne

Edinburgh Castle is one of my favorite places in all of Scotland. There is so much history here and so much to explore. I pay a visit to the castle every single time I go to Scotland and I always learn something new. Plus, the views of the city from various parts of the castle are absolutely breathtaking. Obviously I could spend a lot of time sharing information about this impressive building, but I've decided to touch on the parts that mean the most to me. (Photo by Chris Keach)

The castle sits on top of volcanic rock high above the city. I assure you it is an impressive sight no matter where you are in the city. Its location was ideal for defense. There is only one side for people to approach. The other 3 sides looked like this:

Anyone foolish enough to try climbing up this rock would either be shot or fall to his death. However, if you read about the castle's history, you'll see that it was invaded and captured on a number of occasions.
The oldest part of the castle is St. Margaret's Chapel, which is also the oldest building in Edinburgh. It dates back to the beginning of the 12th century and is named for David I's mother who died in the castle in 1093. It is a very small building, about 10 feet wide, that is still used today for weddings and other religious ceremonies. (Photo by Vonda
Each August, the castle is the home of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. It is an amazing concert of music and dancing performed by military bands from all over the world. The Tattoo takes place in the the esplanade of the castle. There are shows every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays for the entire month. The crowd consists of Scots, people from other parts of the UK and an average of over 70,000 visitors from other countries. If you get the chance to see this, I recommend you do it. Sitting in those seats and listening to the beautiful music and watching the show is such a wonderful experience! (
For more detailed information and beautiful pictures of the castle, I urge you to visit the official website here. A reader could spend hours looking at pictures and learning fascinating stories of one of Scotland's most visited attractions. 


Eileen said...

After reading so many stories of highlanders and Scotland I splurged and went to Scotland. I had the best time and saw the Tattoo. The experience was amazing! I plan to go back again and stay longer in Edinborough. Turned out to be my favorite city on the tour. Thanks for the memories.

Renee Vincent / Gracie Lee Rose said...

I love your posts, Alexa. Yours are so informative! Thank you so much for sharing yet another fascinating place in Scotland!

Alexa said...

Eileen, I LOVE Edinburgh and would move tomorrow if I had a way to do it! Glad you enjoyed yourself on the trip.

LOL! Thanks, Renee! I often worry I don't have enough factual information! But then I figure I can add in my own impressions too.

maryhmandcats said...

Alexa, thank you for sharing this! I'm half-Scottish and traveled there with my mother in '92. We were in Dundee with relatives and due to stay with my cousin in Edinburgh for the last half of the trip. Unfortunately, my father had a small stroke so we headed home immediately. One of these days I hope to finally see Edinburgh!

Alexa said...

Oh, Mary, it's such a fabulous city! A few of my posts here in the next few months will also be in Edinburgh, so I hope you'll come back!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Great photos, Alexa. I love bagpipe music and cannot imagine how it must sound during the tattoo. It's amazing in just the videos I've seen.