Castle Entrance at Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Castle Entrance at Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Scotland

 This evening I am focusing on Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s greatest such structure which sits atop an ancient volcanic plug and dominates the Edinburgh skyline.

The current building was not built as a single project but has evolved over hundreds of years with much work undertaken in the 19th century on instructions of  Queen Victoria.

Whilst there has been a fortification on the site from at least 600 AD (and probably much earlier) the current range of buildings span 800 years from the 12th century St. Margaret’s Chapel to the 20th century Scottish National War Memorial.

The Castle featured in the Wars of Independence (between England and Scotland) during the 13th and 14th centuries during which times the Castle was both slighted and strengthened.

Today, Edinburgh Castle is an extremely popular visitor attraction which reaches its peak during August at time of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

A tour of the castle takes at least one hour. If the weather is favourable visitors can avail of stunning views  over Edinburgh and environs from the high elevation of 443 ft (135M).

Here is a view of the Castle from Edinburgh’s principal shopping area of Princes Street.

Edinburgh Castle from Princes St

Edinburgh Castle from Princes St., Edinburgh

 Here is another aspect taken from the Grassmarket, a popular hotel and pub locale.

Edinburgh Castle from Grassmarket

Edinburgh Castle from Grassmarket , Edinburgh

 This is the main entrance of the Castle. Compare with image at top of this post which shows approximately the same view during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 

Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle

Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 Here is the 16th century Portcullis Gate through which all visitors pass.

Portcullis, Edinburgh Castle

Portcullis, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 This is the famous One O’ Clock Gun which is still fired at 1300 hours every day by the British Army. This tradition dates back to before modern navigation aids. The gun was fired so ships in the nearby Firth of Forth could calculate their positions.

The British Army retains a presence at the castle to this day. There are also Military museums to visit on the site. Here is a video clip of the Changing of the Guard.

One O'Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle

One O'Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 Here is a view of Edinburgh from the vantage point of the Castle.

View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle

View of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 This is Mons Meg , a cannon which dates from the 15th century. In its day this was  a formidable piece of weaponry.

Mons Meg Cannon

Mons Meg Cannon at Edinburgh Castle

 This is the 12th century St. Margaret’s Chapel which is the oldest building in the Castle complex.

St Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle

St Margaret's Chapel, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 Here is the heart of the Castle  are the former royal apartments which were home to Mary Queen of Scots. Today this building houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny. Latter is believed to be the ancient coronation seat of Scottish Kings.

Royal Apartments, Edinburgh Castle

Royal Apartments, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 Adjacent to the Royal Apartments is the Great Hall which was commissioned by King James IV in 1510.

Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle

Great Hall at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 This is the Scottish National War Memorial which was built in the 1920s in homage to the huge losses experienced by Scotland during World War 1.

Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle

Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

 This image shows a colourful scene from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo  which is held at the castle during August each year.

Scene from Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle

Scene from Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Many visitors to Edinburgh also take in the Castle. Whilst there is clearly much to see entrance fees are high and the attraction is exceptionally busy during the mid-summer period. There is a steep incline to traverse to reach the heart of the Castle and Royal Apartments.

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