About sight: Edinburgh Castle

Undoubtedly, the main sight of Scotland's capital is Edinburg Castle above the city. And although you can feel the atmosphere of Middle Ages anywhere in the Old Town, it has a special flavor just in the royal castle. There were born and lived the kings of Scotland, and there lived and fought for their independence the knighthood of Scotland. The situation was somewhat alleviated only when the son of Mary Stuart, Jacob, after the death of childless queen of England Isabella, not only became the king of Scotland but also succeeded to the English Crown.

Edinburg Castle is on the top of Castle rock above the city. On three sides it is absolutely inapproachable. Sheer cliffs reach the height of 130 meters. And only on the west the castle can be approached by the street called «Royal Mile». From this side it is defended by strong bastions facing the square. Today there are held bright performances during Edinburg Art Festivals.

Beyond bastions the road goes up to the buildings. After the Tower of Argyll we are on the viewing point. There stands a One O’clock Gun that is fired at precisely one in the afternoon. From the point one can have a beautiful view of Princess Street going along the castle. Be-tween it and the castle there were planted the gardens of the same name (Princess Street Gardens).

A bit farther from the first viewing point there are several big buildings, so-called New Bar-racks and Governor's House, which were built after Oliver Cromwell captured Edinburg Cas-tle. Nearby there located the National War Museum. New Barracks are closed for visiting, and the tourist route goes by them up to the main buildings of the castle.

On the top of the hill there located the Margaret's Chapel with a giant siege cannon known as Mons Meg, which was fired with stone balls. The chapel is the oldest building in the castle and entire Edinburg. It was built in 1093 by her son David after she died having known about the death of her husband in the Battle of Alnwick. Despite all damages caused to the castle during the wars for independence, St. Margaret has survived until nowadays.

Royal Palace is behind the chapel. Now one of its buildings houses National Museum of Scotland, and the other one – most interesting exposition dedicated to the history of Scotland's monarchy – from the crowning of the first Scottish king to the Act of Union between England and Scotland, by which the king of Scots Jacob IV succeeded to the English Crown. The primary exhibits of the museum are: royal regalia of Scottish kings – crown, sceptre, orb, royal garments.

The Stone of Scone more commonly known as the Stone of Destiny and often referred to as the Coronation Stone is also there. It is an oblong block of sandstone, which is attributed some mystical meaning. It was used in coronation of the kings of Scotland, and later the kings of England. Historically, the stone was kept at Scone Castle near Perth. It was brought there by the king Kenneth I in 847. All kings of Scotland were crowned in Scone Castle, and it was the seat of Scottish Parliament. Then the English king Edward took the stone as military trophy and took it to London where the stone was kept for 700 years under the English throne in Westminster Abbey. In 1996 the stone was returned to Scotland, only now it is kept at Edinburg Castle.

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