Edinburgh Castle, Scotland viewed from New Town

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland viewed from New Town.

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 castle is a popular visitor attraction throughout the year whilst during August the Esplanade acts as a venue for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Video clip of Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

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.

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).

View of Firth of Forth and Fife Coast from Edinburgh Castle

View of Firth of Forth and Fife Coast from Edinburgh Castle

Video clip of Edinburgh New Town and Firth of Forth from Edinburgh Castle.

Soldiers marching into Edinburgh Castle.

Soldiers marching into Edinburgh Castle.

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 Changing of the Guard.

This is the main entrance of the Castle.

Main entrance to Edinburgh Castle.

Main entrance to Edinburgh Castle.

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

Portcullis Entrance Gate at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Portcullis Entrance Gate at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

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 to enable ships in the nearby Firth of Forth (commercial waterway) to calculate their positions.

One O'Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

One O’Clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

One O'Clock Gun immediately after firing.

One O’Clock Gun immediately after firing.

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 which was used in conflict.

Mons Meg Cannon at Edinburgh Castle

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, Scotland.

St Margaret’s Chapel, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Here in the heart of the Castle is Crown Square and 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.

Crown Square, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Crown Square, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

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

Great Hall, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Great Hall, 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, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Prisoners hammocks inside prison at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Prisoners hammocks inside prison at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

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