Majesty for Centuries: Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle holds a dominating position, atop the volcanic Castle Rock, overlooking the capital city of Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle has commanded its surroundings with majesty for centuries. Today the castle continues to welcome visitors to its rocky perch.
Evidence shows inhabitation at Castle Rock dating back to 900 BC, when it was called Din Eidyn, ‘the stronghold of Eidyn’. Ever since the invasion of Angles around 638 AD, the rock has been known by its English name – Edinburgh.
In the Middle Ages, Edinburgh Castle became Scotland’s chief royal castle. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle has been involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions.
The oldest standing building on the premises is the tiny and charming chapel, built by King David I in the 12th century, in memory of his mother, St Margaret.
Edinburgh Castle is known well for being the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots son James VI, in 1566. The Castle continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603 when James VI, King of Scots, also became King James I of England.
In 1996 the Stone of Destiny, Scotland’s coronation stone, was placed in the Crown Room alongside the nation’s Crown Jewels. In 1995, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were inscribed as a World Heritage Site, and the castle remains its most important building. Edinburgh Castle is also the backdrop for the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
All visitors to the castle can join the popular guided tour free of charge. Filled with intriguing tales and castle secrets for all. Visitors to this glorious castle will marvel at Scotland’s glittering crown jewels, tour the Royal Palace, The Great Hall and St. Margaret’s Chapel. Visitors will also get to view Mons Meg, one of the world’s oldest cannons, which was fired to celebrate the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots.