The World As Bec Sees It

The World As Bec Sees It

Captivating Castles: 5 Reasons to Visit Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

In my recent posts, I’ve covered two spectacular castles: Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany, and Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd, Wales. Now, it’s time to explore the third on my list—Edinburgh Castle in Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle: A National Monument

Edinburgh Castle is a National Monument and one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions. In 2014, it attracted over 750,000 visitors from around the globe. Here are five fun facts about this historic castle:

5 Fun Facts About Edinburgh Castle

  1. Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Each August, Edinburgh Castle hosts the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo. This grand parade takes place at night on the castle’s esplanade, featuring traditional Scottish kilts, hundreds of bagpipes and drums, performances, and fireworks. The event is attended by thousands and televised worldwide.
  2. Royal Residence and Prison: Edinburgh Castle has served various roles over the centuries, including a royal residence, army garrison, and prison. It held prisoners during the Seven Years War, the American War of Independence, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War I.
  3. Construction: The castle was built between the 12th and 18th centuries in memory of Queen Margaret.
  4. Ownership Changes: During the 12th century, ownership of Edinburgh Castle switched between Scotland and England several times.
  5. Castle Rock: The castle is built upon Castle Rock, a massive formation part of an ancient extinct volcano.

5 Highlights of Edinburgh Castle

1. The 1 o’clock Cannon

The 1 o’clock cannon is an enormous medieval super gun made around 1449. Since 1861, it has been fired at 1pm every day except Sundays as a time signal for ships. Originally fired by Tam the Gun, since his death in 2005, the tradition has been continued by Shannon the Cannon. Seeing the super gun go off is a must, and the person firing the gun is dressed in traditional Scottish attire.

2. The Horse and Carriage Footpath

Built by French prisoners, this footpath allowed horses and carriages to navigate the steep ascent to the top of the castle. It’s a testament to the castle’s historical significance and offers a glimpse into its past.

3. St Margaret’s Chapel

Built around 1130 by David I in honor of his mother, Queen Margaret, St Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh. Despite its small size, it holds significant historical and religious importance. Today, it’s still used for christenings and weddings.

4. The Crown Jewels

The Crown Jewels are a major draw at Edinburgh Castle. Due to their popularity, expect to line up for a chance to view them. Although photography is not allowed, the experience of seeing these historic artifacts is well worth the wait.

5. Views of Edinburgh

Perched atop a massive hill, Edinburgh Castle offers breathtaking views of the city. The panoramic vistas from the top are a highlight for many visitors, providing stunning photo opportunities and a unique perspective on Edinburgh.

Tips for Visiting Edinburgh Castle

  1. Go on a Guided Tour: Upon arrival, join one of the free guided tours. These tours offer fascinating insights into the castle’s history and are an excellent way to enhance your visit.
  2. Be a Tourist: Don’t miss the chance to take a fun photo dressed as a Scottish guard. It’s a quirky and memorable way to remember your visit.

Want More Information?

For additional details and to plan your visit, check out the following resources:

Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Scotland. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and spectacular views, it’s no wonder this castle continues to captivate visitors from all over the world. Have you visited Edinburgh Castle? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below! If you found this post helpful, let me know!

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