EDINBURGH CASTLEFrom ancient times till nowadays By Natalia Mironova, Moscow
History of Edinburgh• Edinburgh boasts a rich and intriguing history which can be uncovered as you explore the city. Atmospheric cobbled streets, wonderful architecture, old closes and wide avenues allow you to imagine yourself transported back in time.• Scotland’s capital grew around its Old Town until the late 18th century and this area of the city still has a distinct character from the iconic castle at the top of the Royal Mile to the Grassmarket below, where public hangings formerly took place. The Nor Loch acted as a natural defence for the city at this time before it was drained and converted into the beautiful Princes Street Gardens in later years.• During the Victorian era, Edinburgh earned itself a nickname as ‘Auld Reekie’ due to the smoke from the steam engines and the pollution of the industrial revolution.• After 1583, the city was also a hub for educational and professional development since the world-famous university was founded. The University of Edinburgh still stands today as a symbol of the knowledge and intellectual talent to be found in the city. Many new ventures occurred including the founding of the Bank of Scotland in 1695, marking Edinburgh as a financial 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 old parliament to Londons Westminster. Tenements were an identifying feature of the city by the late 18th century, when the population was expanding rapidly to around 35,000. The rich lived on the desirable upper and middle floors of these buildings 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 to design a new part of the city was put in place to try to attract the wealthy back to Edinburgh. James Craig won this contest and 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 Europe’s most influential financial city outside of London with neoclassical 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 sits alongside wonderful baroque buildings including the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Each community is individual, giving you a unique sense of the past and present as you explore.
ORIGINS OF THE CASTLE • Around 340 million BC The castle rock is created by volcanic activity. • Around 900 BC First archaeological evidence for human settlement on the castle. • Around AD 600 First historical reference to Din Eidyn - a fortress on the rock.
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.
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. David’s Tower is named after him. • 1371 David II dies in the castle.
A SEAT OF ROYAL POWER • 1457 The giant cannon Mons Meg arrives in the castle, a gift to James II. • 1511 James IV builds the Great Hall.
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 David’s Tower.
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 VI’s 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.
ROYALTY UNDER THREAT • 1650 Having overthrown and executed Charles I, Oliver Cromwell invades Scotland and captures the castle. • 1651 to 1660 The Honours of Scotland (Crown, Sword and Sceptre) are buried near Stonehaven, Kincardines hire, to save them from Cromwell
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...