Sorting through some SD and micro cards a few days ago, I came across some photos that I had taken of Edinburgh Castle in 2009. (apologies for the quality, these were taken with a Nokia Navigator 2 MP camera phone).
Myself and a few mates traveled over to Scotland back in early March 2009, and spent a long weekend in Edinburgh. We found a lovely hotel which was within our price range in the “Old Town” of Edinburgh City. The view of the castle in the photo above, was taken while on our way from the hotel into the city center.
After doing the usual touristy thing of having a wander around the city center, we headed back towards the old part of Edinburgh where the castle is located. Edinburgh city is divided into the “old town” and the “new town”, the older part of town is on a hill overlooking the newer part of the city. There are some really beautiful old buildings in the old town, unfortunately I did not take any photos of them.
The photo above is one of the views of Edinburgh city’s new town, looking down from the Castle. In the foreground you can just see the pet cemetery where all the pets that lived in the Castle down through the years, are buried! Beyond the city you can just see the sea and port, apologies again for the photo quality, the sky is again blown out, I think I was asking too much from the camera on my mobile phone!
The photo above is a better view of the pet cemetery at Edinburgh Castle with Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh in the background. Here is some history of Edinburgh Castle.
This most famous of Scottish castles has a complex building history. The oldest part, St Margaret’s Chapel, dates from the 12th century; the Great Hall was erected by James IV around 1510; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton in the late 16th century; and the Scottish National War Memorial after the First World War. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O’ Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh Castle dominates Scotland’s capital city from its great rock. Its story has helped shape the nation’s story. Battles and sieges were fought over it, royalty lived and died within its walls, and countless generations have been and inspired by it.
Fierce Iron Age warriors defended a hill fort here, and the nation’s oldest poetry tells of a war band feasting here for a year before riding to their deaths in battle. The Scots and English struggled for control of the castle during the Wars of Independence. In 1314 it was recaptured from the English in a daring night raid led by Thomas Randolph, nephew of King Robert the Bruce.
Home of Royalty
The castle has sheltered many Scottish monarchs. They include Queen Margaret (later St Margaret), who died here in 1093, and Mary Queen of Scots, who gave birth to James VI in the Royal Palacein 1566. Her great-great-great grandson Charles Edward Stuart – Bonnie Prince Charlie – captured Edinburgh but was unable to take the castle during the 1745-6 Jacobite Rising. In 1996, the Stone of Destiny, on which kings were enthroned for centuries, was returned to Scotland. It is now displayed in the Crown Room.
In the 1600s, the castle became a military base. Some buildings were rebuilt and new ones were raised to house a huge garrison – and provide a secure jail for prisoners of war. The military presence remains unbroken, but over the last 200 years the castle has become a national icon. It is now Scotland’s leading tourist attraction, and a key element of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
I would highly recommend a visit to Scotland and Edinburgh in particular, the people are very friendly and welcoming and love to talk about their history. There was one elderly guide in the Castle who was passionate about his Countries history and he kept us there for hours, telling us all about the history of the Castle. I’m glad that I have found these photos (bad quality and all!) and will definitely have to return to Scotland some time in the future and get some proper shots of Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle Slideshow