Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Edinburgh - Scotland

Last February I finally traveled to Scotland and I must say I loved it. Wonderful landscapes, great monuments, nice weather and rich history. 
I've said a couple of times on this blog that I'd love to visit Edimburgh and now I can say it is one of my favorite cities in Europe. 
I already had a few cards from Edinburgh, so I didn't send any cards from there but exactly one month after my trip, I got a card from there sent by Ara (4th card on this post). The other cards are sent by Petra, Joana, Heidi and Doyel. 

© Douglas Corrence
NL-1821289, sent by Petra.
Of all the cities in the world, Edinburgh - the capital and cultural center of Scotland for over 500 years - occupies one of the most beautiful locations. Sometimes described as the "Athens of the North", this famous festival city boasts Greek-style columns on Calton Hill, a wide choice of museums and art galleries, as well as a host of historical gems. Edinburgh actually consists of two cities: the castle, set on high basalt rock, dominates the densely populated Old Town, a labyrinth of narrow alleys and rows of houses. While grand squares, wide avenues and elegant facades characterize the Georgian New Town, a masterpiece of 18th century town planning. - in:

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. 
There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. From the 15th century the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century it was principally used as military barracks with a large garrison. Its importance as a part of Scotland's national heritage was recognised increasingly from the early 19th century onwards, and various restoration programmes have been carried out over the past century and a half.

As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".
Few of the present buildings pre-date the Lang Siege of the 16th century, when the medieval defences were largely destroyed by artillery bombardment. The most notable exceptions are St Margaret's Chapel from the early 12th century, which is regarded as the oldest building in Edinburgh, the Royal Palace and the early-16th-century Great Hall, although the interiors have been much altered from the mid-Victorian period onwards. 

Photography © Ian Mills
The castle also houses the Scottish regalia, known as the Honours of Scotland and is the site of the Scottish National War Memorial and the National War Museum of Scotland. The British Army is still responsible for some parts of the castle, although its presence is now largely ceremonial and administrative. Some of the castle buildings house regimental museums which contribute to its presentation as a tourist attraction.
The castle, in the care of Historic Scotland, is Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013. As the backdrop to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo during the annual Edinburgh International Festival the castle has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland and indeed, it is Edinburgh's most frequently visited visitor attraction - according to the Edinburgh Visitor Survey, more than 70% of leisure visitors to Edinburgh visited the castle. - in: wikipedia

   © Colin Baxter
GB-343788, sent by Doyel.
Besides the castle, the card also shows the Balmoral Hotel.
The Balmoral is a luxury five-star hotel and landmark in Edinburgh, Scotland, known as the North British Hotel until the late 1980s. It is located in the heart of the city at the east end of Princes Street, the main shopping street beneath the Edinburgh Castle rock, and the southern edge of the New Town.
Resulting from a competition of 1895, the hotel originally opened in 1902. It was designed by architect W. Hamilton Beattie and for most of the twentieth century was known as the North British Hotel or simply the N.B., a traditional railway hotel built for the North British Railway Company adjacent to their Waverley Station. It kept the same name until the late 1980s when it was renamed the Balmoral Hotel after refurbishment, despite being located over 100 miles (160 km) south of Balmoral Castle. Edinburgh residents managed to retain the "NB" nickname by the popular but entirely colloquial suggestion that this stood for "New Balmoral".
For travellers arriving by train, the hotel provided comfortable and elegant lodgings, before they continued their journeys. To assist passengers in reaching their train on time, the hotel tower's clock, visible from a considerable distance away, is traditionally set to be two minutes fast. The clock tower, at 190 feet (58 m) high, forms a prominent landmark in Edinburgh's city centre. The building’s architecture is Victorian, influenced by the traditional Scottish baronial style. Sadly it was stripped of most of its ornamental stone balconies in its refurbishment, and whilst remaining ornate, is visibly "scarred". - in: wikipedia


Ana said...

all these views are just fascinating! gosh, I really hope to be able to visit Scotland one day....

Medical Librarian said...

Looks like a beautiful place to visit. I find castles fascinating.