Saturday, July 25, 2015

British Isles #16: Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle looks so Medieval and foreboding perched high up on the volcanic Castle Rock. It looks like one giant stronghold. In truth, it is many different buildings built at different times - more like a small walled town. For me, once I got into the castle grounds, it was less impressive than from afar. It still contains some beautiful buildings and has witnessed a lot of history, but each building now holds a little museum or exhibit - I think something is lost by this. And the place was incredibly busy for the off season. I cannot even imagine summer months here. We aren't used to the crowds, as we are often spoiled by being the only people present in many old castle ruins. Still it is surely a place to visit, with wonderful views of the city. We seldom take the guided tours but here it may have helped us appreciate the value and history of each building. Instead we just made our way around and visited the buildings or exhibits that interested us. My favorite building was Saint Margaret's Chapel, which is the oldest part of Edinburgh Castle, in fact, the oldest building in Edinburgh (from the 12th c.). It is a tiny, plain stone building but inside is an ancient Romanesque chapel with lovely stained glass.

Stained Glass of Saint Margaret in Saint Margaret's Chapel inside castle grounds.

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