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Interesting facts about Edinburgh castle, its history and modern life.


  • 1. EDINBURGH CASTLEFrom ancient times till nowadays By Natalia Mironova, Moscow

2. History of Edinburgh Edinburgh boasts a rich and intriguing history which can be uncovered as you explore the city. Atmospheric cobbledstreets, wonderful architecture, old closes and wide avenues allow you to imagine yourself transported back in time. Scotlands capital grew around its Old Town until the late 18th century and this area of the city still has a distinct characterfrom the iconic castle at the top of the Royal Mile to the Grassmarket below, where public hangings formerly took place. TheNor Loch acted as a natural defence for the city at this time before it was drained and converted into the beautiful PrincesStreet Gardens in later years. During the Victorian era, Edinburgh earned itself a nickname as Auld Reekie due to the smoke from the steam engines andthe pollution of the industrial revolution. After 1583, the city was also a hub for educational and professional development since the world-famous university wasfounded. The University of Edinburgh still stands today as a symbol of the knowledge and intellectual talent to be found inthe city. Many new ventures occurred including the founding of the Bank of Scotland in 1695, marking Edinburgh as afinancial capital by the end of the 20th century. 1707 saw the Act of Union, which joined Scotland and England together politically, and moved power from Edinburghs oldparliament to Londons Westminster. Tenements were an identifying feature of the city by the late 18th century, when thepopulation was expanding rapidly to around 35,000. The rich lived on the desirable upper and middle floors of thesebuildings while the poor were relegated to the lower levels. Living conditions were not good at this time and many wealthy residents moved to London. Eventually a competition todesign a new part of the city was put in place to try to attract the wealthy back to Edinburgh. James Craig won this contestand his ideas and influences are still visible in the grid pattern of the streets of the Georgian New Town. King George IV visited Edinburgh in 1822 and by then it was Europes most influential financial city outside of London withneoclassical architecture giving it a name as the Athens of the North. Today, Edinburgh combines both modernity and tradition. Modern architecture such as the Scottish Parliament sitsalongside wonderful baroque buildings including the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Each community is individual, giving you aunique sense of the past and present as you explore. 3. ORIGINS OF THE CASTLEAround 340 million BCThe castle rock is created byvolcanic activity. Around 900 BCFirst archaeologicalevidence for humansettlement on the castle. Around AD 600First historical reference toDin Eidyn - a fortress onthe rock. 4. ORIGINS OF THE CASTLE AD 638 Angles capture Din Eidyn and rename it Edinburgh. 1093 St Margaret of Scotland dies in the Castle of Maidens, Edinburgh Around 1130 David I builds a formidable royal castle on the rock. It includes a chapel dedicated to his mother Queen Margaret, which still stands. 5. WARS OF INDEPENDENCE 1296 Edward I of England invades Scotland, capturing the castle after a three-day siege. 1314 The Scots, under Robert the Bruce, recapture the castle. 1334 The English retake the castle. 1341 The Scots take it back again. 1356 David II orders the rebuilding of the castle. Davids Tower is named after him. 1371 David II dies in the castle. 6. A SEAT OF ROYAL POWER 1457The giant cannon MonsMeg arrives in thecastle, a gift to James II. 1511James IV builds theGreat Hall. 7. A SEAT OF ROYAL POWER 1494 to 1540 The Sceptre and the Sword of State are presented to James IV by successive popes. The Honours of Scotland are completed when the Crown is made in its present form for James V. 1566 Mary Queen of Scots gives birth in the castle to her only child, the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England. 1571 to 1573 The Lang Siege, which ends in the destruction of Davids Tower. 8. A SEAT OF ROYAL POWER 1574 to 1578 The castle is rebuilt. The Half- Moon Battery and Portcullis Gate are added to reinforce its defences. 1615 to 1617 The Royal Palace is extensively renovated for James VIs visit to his birthplace for his 50th anniversary as king of Scots. 1633 Charles I is the last monarch to sleep in the castle, on the night before his coronation as King of Scotland. 9. ROYALTY UNDER THREAT1650Having overthrown andexecuted Charles I, OliverCromwell invadesScotland and captures thecastle. 1651 to 1660The Honours of Scotland(Crown, Sword andSceptre) are buried nearStonehaven, Kincardineshire, to save them fromCromwell 10. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is the most spectacular show in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million. There is, however, no substitute for being there in person as part of the 217,000-strong audience over its three-week season on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle who dont simply watch the show but become a part of it. In the glowering twilight, Edinburgh Castle slumbers, resting, waiting for nightfall and for the footlights that will transform it into a dazzling stage set for the worlds most spectacular show. Down Castlehill, along the Lawnmarket, around the cathedral church of St Giles, through the closes of the Royal Mile and the narrow streets whose setts ring with history, people gather in the dusk of a late summer evening. Turning their faces to the great castle rock, where ancient clans first settled the area, which was to become the capital of Scotland and where now stands Edinburghs mighty fortress, they join a crowd that will soon be an audience, rapt with enthusiasm for the unique spectacle that is the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Climbing the final rise towards the Castle Esplanade, walking companionably together, eight and ten abreast, eager old hands who come every year but never lose the thrill of a Tattoo ahead, and new folk, many on holiday from other proud nations a world away, who are about to witness the show they will never forget... 11. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo 12. Top Secret Drum CorpsPipes 13. Massed Pipes & DrumsThe Mounted Band of the Blues and Royals 14. http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk http://www.edinburgh.org http://www.edintattoo.co.uk http://youtu.be/iMmn00iXf38


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