This castle located at Edinburgh, Scotland represents the legacy of the Scottish people. This underscores the reason why it has been regarded as “iconic” from time immemorial. Founded upon Castle Rock (volcanic rock), it resonates atop the city’s skyline.

From the unraveling of history, it becomes crystal clear that the Edinburgh Castle is notable as a strong hold in Scotland’s historical antecedence. It predates several conflicts of which the Scottish Wars of independence fought in the fourteenth century is one; and the uprising in 1745 of the Jacobites is another. Furthermore, the fortress had served as the palace of Scottish kings beginning with King David, Malcom III’s last son who had built it.

Renowned for being the most besieged place in the world, its reputation as far as warring is concerned outruns other castles in the world.

The majestic Edinburgh Castle on a hilltop – (CC BY 2.0) by Craigyc

Renowned for being the most besieged place in the world, its reputation as far as warring is concerned outruns other castles in the world. Interestingly today, it has become a remarkable tourist attraction and a symbol of solidarity and national heritage among the people of Edinburgh and Scotland.

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Early History

The chronicles of Fordun written in the fourteenth century was the first annals to refer to the castle atop Castle Rock where the king Malcom III had died and his widow, Margaret had mourned him. This is to say that several castles had existed on Castle Rock. Even, somehistorical records have it that the “castle of the maidens” was the first castle founded on the rock.

Gold Fountain at the foot of the castle – (CC BY 2.0) by csakkarin
Edinburgh Castle in Winter [Public Domain]

However, the Edinburgh Castle where the seat of power to the Scottish throne was consolidated was said to have been built by David, last son of Malcom III and Saint Margaret in 1130 C.E.

View of the castle towers [Public Domain]

The castle is notable for its many wars as it had been besieged and captured severally by the Britinvaders. In one of such, the legendary David’s tower had been destroyed. In order that the castle is further fortified, a canon referred to as “Mons Meg” had been erected in the castle to render it impregnable.

Cannon firing ceremony – (CC BY-SA 2.0) by photoverulam

Unfortunately, even this could not rescue the fortress from the imminent siege that assailed it. Consequent upon the intermittent intrusion from Brit soldiers, it fell finally in to the hands of Britain in 1650 in an invasion led by Oliver Cromwell. Attempt to recapture it after this period had proven abortive.

Main Tower, Edinburgh Castle [Public Domain]

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Current Times

The castle reputed to be the most besieged castle in history and which has also served as a prisonat some point, is currently Scotland’s most happening tourist hot zone. Annually, it records a total of more than one million tourists who come to bask in the euphoria the fortress has got to offer. The sight of the castle, the crown jewel, the Half Moon Battery, Queen Mary’s chambersand the great halls of the castle makes it irresistible to tourists.

A picturesque view of the castle walls atop the cliffs – Derek Harper / Edinburgh Castle, via Wikimedia Commons
Entrance to the castle [Public Domain]

It also should be noted that the Edinburgh Castle also houses the Scottish National War Memorial since 1927 till date. Plus, the castle is strongly affiliated to military operation in Britain as it houses a garrison.

Edinburgh Castle at night – Ad Meskens [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The castle as seen from Princes Street Gardens (Public Domain) by Clive G’

The castle in recent time has also serve as exhibition ground for jaw dropping military parades and ceremonies known as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Lastly, the 13:00 gun time daily operation where a shot signaling One O’clock is fired cannot be left unmentioned.

Interesting Facts About Edinburgh Castle

  • The Edinburgh castle is just one of the castles that have ever existed on the Castle rock reportedly formed by volcanic remains.
  • It had been an age long tussle of power between Scotland and England over the control of the castle. It was captured and recaptured severally thus, making it the most war assailed fortress in history.
  • One of the myths surrounding the castle is that students could fail their exams if they don’t stay away from the castle. Another is the gory tale of the Lone Piper whose music can be heard in the castle.
  • There is the presence of an eavesdropping archaic window known as “Lairds Lugs” which means the “Lord’s Ears” just above the fire place in the Great Hall.
  • The stone of destiny, a mythical powerful stone which had been a source of contestation between Scotland and England resides in the castle of Edinburgh.

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