Up The Hill And Down The Hill-Two Castles In A Day Part One

Our tour of Edinburgh continued with visits to Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of  Holyrood House, the official residence of the Monarch when in Scotland.

After a steep walk uphill we entered Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Castle is said to have 1 million tourists visit annually.

Situated on Castle Rock which  formed after a volcano erupted over 340 million years ago, it towers over the city. The first castle 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.   David I, son of Saint Margaret of Scotland, built the castle during the 12 th century.

The tensions between the English and Scottish monarchies nearly always centered on Edinburgh Castle. The ruler 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.  Past the entrance it’s just like a mini city.

The One O'Clock Gun

The first major battle at the castle was during the late 13th century when Edward I of England attempted to seize the  vacant Scottish throne. From 1296 to 1341, the castle bounced from English to Scottish hands several times.

In 1571, English forces laid siege to the city of  Edinburgh  trying to capture Mary, Queen of Scots. By February of 1573, all of Mary’s supporters had surrendered to the English.
During the Jacobite Risings (1688-1746), the Scots attempted, several times, to recapture their castle.  The last attempt by the Jacobite Army led by Charles Edward Stuart  (Bonnie Prince Charlie) was 1745. Although the Scots were able to capture the city, they were never able to lay siege to the castle. The castle became a national monument in 1814. In 1927, part of the castle became the Scottish National War Memorial.

We ended our tour with St. Margaret’s Chapel and made our way down the hill.

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