‘My dear Sir, do not think that I blaspheme when I tell you that your great London, as compared to Dun-Edin, ‘mine own romantic town’, is as prose compared to poetry, or as a great rumbling, rambling, heavy Epic compared to a Lyric, brief, bright, clear, and vital as a flash of lightning,’ wrote English novelist and poet, Charlotte Bronte in one of her letters in July, 1850.
Indeed, Edinburgh is one of the most picturesque and astonishing cities in the UK. Undoubtedly, there are many nooks and crannies in this city worth seeing. Edinburgh Castle is definitely one of the most interesting historic buildings which I have ever seen. It’s incredibly huge and the view out of it is more than marvellous. Also, its inside is very imposing, especially the Great Hall, which was built in 1511 as the chief place of ceremony in the castle. Another interesting thing to see in the castle is the Honours of Scotland – the Crown, Sceptre and Sword of state, which were made in Scotland and Italy and first used in 1543 during the coronation of Mary Queen of Scot at Stirling Castle. However most visitors would be very interested in another Scottish icon – the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish kings’ seat, which arrived at the castle in 1996.
A wide road runs down from the castle called the Royal Mile. It’s of the most interesting streets in Edinburgh, as many buildings next to it are old (from the 18th and 19th centuries), and it attracts many tourists. In other words, something always happens there, especially in August, when the Edinburgh International Festival audiences have an opportunity to watch street artists from around the world.
At the end of the Royal Mile there is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty the Queen. Also, it is known as the former residence of a Mary, Queen of Scots. The palace has many fine rooms, which can be visited for a charge – the Great Gallery is worth seeing, for example.
Across from the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the new building of the Scottish Parliament, which was opened in 2004. Its architecture may be perceived as a bit bizarre, but on the other hand you would never see any similar buildings in the UK, and possibly in the world. The Parliament is open for tourists from Monday to Friday, but there are specific hours of visiting, which are stated on the Parliament’s website.
In my opinion, Princes Street Gardens – a public park in the centre of Edinburgh – is the place that cannot be missed. According to net sources, the park was created in the 1820s. Today, it’s a popular place for meetings and many people go there to bag some rays.
Obviously, Edinburgh’s monuments are so absorbing and there are so many of them, that you would have to spend at least one week there to see everything. It is a truly amazing and astonishing city, but you have to go there and see its entire marvel for yourself.