Edinburgh - an ancient bastion, shrouded in fog and fanned by legends. It more than once became a place of grandiose historical events. It still holds the memory of the legendary freedom fighter William Wallace - "brave heart", in the severe castles live images of the beautiful knightly novel "Ivanhoe", and the stone Walter Scott pensively thumbs the book against the background of the Gothic domes. The unrestrained spirit of Edinburgh grows stronger in the piercing melodies of Scottish bagpipes and makes the traveler deeper into the layer of time. Through the centuries, the tourists are watched by outstanding Scots in the National Portrait Gallery, the ruins of Holyrood Abbey are silent witnesses of the former power of the church, and the walls of Edinburgh Castle still remember the last Scottish monarch.
So the list of the best tourist places in front of you:
The row of Royale Mile streets originates from Edinburgh Castle and descends to Holyrood Palace. Of course, a traveler eager for impressions will visit both points A and point B - and will be right! But even if you do not have much time, it's necessary to measure the steps of the Scottish mile, which is 200 meters longer than the British one and is about 1.8 km. Gothic, foggy and windy Edinburgh along the way will acquire a lot of cozy, funny and unexpected details. Once - and you are already on a mystical tour of the ancient streets, and the guide looks like an eyewitness of all his stories.
If you look at the castle from the city, it seems that it is floating in the air. Initially, it was created as a fortress and for many centuries it was used for fortification purposes by various forces and political groupings. Since the twelfth century, it has become the official royal residence, and then the arena of major action in the confrontation between England and Scotland. Here is also the main royal relic - the Stone of Destiny. Monarchs at all times have laid their hands on him, solemnly to utter an oath before a high congregation. A tour of the castle will allow you to immerse yourself in an atmosphere of looting, sieges, betrayals, political and love flirting, prison routine and even magic - it was here that some elements of the Harry Potter saga were filmed. The price of admission is 16.5 pounds. In winter, the castle can be visited from 09:30 to 17:00, during the summer, the visit is extended by an hour.
Almost at the very end of the Royal Mile, there is a functioning royal residence, in which members of the royal family stay. Typically, this happens in the summer - at this time the palace is closed to tourists. The history of the castle began in the twelfth century with the unsuccessful Sunday hunting of King David, who himself almost became a hunting trophy. The miraculous salvation of the monarch was the reason for erecting first the abbey, and then the Holyrood castle. In winter, the palace is open from 09:30 to 16:30, in the summer - until 18:00. The price of an adult ticket is about 11.3 pounds.
To Holyrood's palace adjoins Holyrood Abbey. The once prosperous church now represents a deplorable - but from this no less majestic - spectacle. The gloomy ruins of the once lush halls are now covered in moss. The electric lighting here is unnecessary - in places in the roof, there are not enough extensive areas. But in the Middle Ages, there were often held meetings of nobles and important political decisions were made! Over the past three hundred years, many local and foreign architects have offered projects for the reconstruction of this cultural heritage, but none of them has ever been realized. You can go to the abbey's territory with a ticket to visit the Holyrood Palace. Their visiting hours also coincide.
Once around the castle of Craigmillar a whole village has grown up, now around only numerous buildings of the central part of Edinburgh. The specificity of the castle is that it is perhaps the only Scottish castle that has preserved its authentic appearance. The first mention of it dates back to the beginning of the thirteenth century. The most ancient components of the castle appeared even after a hundred years. Among the most famous dead, who have ever lived in Craigmillar, Mary Stuart is particularly distinguished. The castle is open all year round. The adult ticket will cost 6 pounds.
Once in place of the modern church was the abbey of the Order of the Franciscans - "The Abode of Gray Brothers." It is considered one of the oldest buildings outside the Old Town of Edinburgh. Its age is estimated in four centuries. For a long time it consisted of two buildings, the earliest of which dates back to the Reformation period. For a long time this church was a real bulwark of Presbyterianism. Greyfriars Kirkyard became the first Presbyterian church, in which appeared stained glass and even an organ. No less famous than the church itself is the local cemetery. Among the local ghosts there is his Jack the Ripper and his Hatiko, about whom several novels have been written.
The Scots came very seriously to the creation of a national collection of portrait painting and photography. The very idea of opening such a gallery aroused a wide resonance in society, but the government was not in a hurry to invest money in this project. The first sketches of the modern gallery were made by the efforts of the well-known philanthropist John Findlay, who two centuries ago allocated funds for the creation of a special building for the placement of collections. The construction of red sandstone in the Neo-Gothic style with stucco and numerous sculptural compositions on the eastern and northern facades still causes numerous passers-by to stare at themselves. You can visit the gallery from 10:00 to 17:00 on all days except Thursday. On Thursdays, it closes two hours later. Entrance to the national treasury of portrait painting is free.
The museum impresses even before acquaintance with its exposures occurs. The roof of this building is made in the form of a giant membrane, which was stretched on metal cables. In such an unusual way, it was decided to meet the new millennium. The museum maintains an ideal balance of scientific credibility and spectacular presentation of the material. Thus, the guests of the museum will be able to compile a holistic view of the processes through which the Earth was formed, as well as the various stages in the development of the animal and plant world. Another important milestone is scientific forecasting. Questions of alternative evolution are being raised. The total cost of the ticket is 12.5 pounds, the child ticket will cost 7.95 pounds. The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:30.
The modern national museum is the result of the merger of the Museum of Antiquities and the Royal Museum. It is noteworthy that it is not just about moving collections and drawing up new excursion programs, but also about combining two buildings - modern constructivist and old Victorian. Expositions refer to different fields of knowledge: history, geology, natural history, cultural studies. Sometimes it seems that this whole stream of information has no system: next to the stuffed clone Dolly there is the hall of Elton John's creativity, which goes into the hall with artifacts from Ancient Egypt. The most vivid impressions usually remain from the Great Hall - the largest room of the museum, richly decorated with sculptures of birds and filled with light. The museum is open from 10:00 to 17:00. The entrance to the museum is free.
The gallery was opened only at the end of the twentieth century. For its placement was chosen a huge building in the Gothic style with a gorgeous garden, which today turned into a large-scale sculpture dedicated to Charles Jenkins. According to the creators, the idea is based on the theory of chaos. The funds of the gallery are so huge that it is often necessary to hold temporary exhibitions. Visitors can absolutely free to get acquainted with the work of Picasso, Matisse, Nicholson, Brack from 10:00 to 17:00.