Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street Gardens

£50.00£1,750.00

Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital City.

It is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe, and one of the most spectacular castles. With a long rich history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress, it is built on top of an Iron Age settlement, on the natural rock of an extinct Volcano. The first castle that existed on the rock was known as “The Castle of the Maidens”. According to legend, the castle had been a shrine to the “Nine Maidens”, one of whom was Morgan le Fay, who brought down King Arthur. The current Castle was built during the 12th century by David I, son of Saint Margaret of Scotland and King Malcolm III (Malcolm Canmore). Since then many buildings have been erected and modernised.

Tensions between the English and Scottish monarchies nearly always centred on Edinburgh Castle. He who held the castle held rule over the city of Edinburgh and, therefore, over all of Scotland. Consequently, the castle was almost constantly under siege.
The first major battle the castle witnessed was during the late 13th century when Edward I of England attempted to seize the then vacant Scottish throne. From 1296 to 1341, the castle bounced from English to Scottish hands several times during the First and Second Wars of Scottish Independence.

In 1571, English forces laid siege to the city of Edinburgh in an attempt to capture Mary, Queen of Scots. The siege, which lasted for two years, became known as the “long” or “Lang” siege. By February of 1573, all of Mary’s supporters had surrendered to the English.

During the Jacobite Rebellions (1688-1746), Scots attempted, several times, to recapture the castle. Unfortunately, they were never able to overpower the English army. The final attempt was in 1745 when the Jacobite army was led by Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). Although the Scots were able to capture the city, they were never able to lay siege to the castle. In November of that year, the Jacobites were forced to retreat.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the castle was slowly restored. Military ceremonies began to be held there and, in 1927, part of the castle was turned into the Scottish National War Memorial. The Castle still functions as Headquarter Offices for the British Army and houses the ancient Scottish Crown Jewels. It also has several Regimental Military museums. The Royal Military Tattoo and the Fireworks Display are highlights of the Edinburgh Festival each August.

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Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street Gardens
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