Map of Edinburgh in Scotland
Palace of Holyroodhouse entrance
Palace of Holyroodhouse Abbey
Explore Edinburgh's Castles and Palaces
By Danielle Pruger
Photos courtesy Visit Britain and Edinburgh Castle
Vibrant, beautiful, lively and friendly are just a few words used to describe Edinburgh by its residents. However, the long running history of Edinburgh is what attracts many travelers to the city. Two attractions that exemplify Edinburgh's history are the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Edinburgh Castle sits on an extinct volcano at the top of Edinburgh's Royal Mile. During the Middle Ages it was Scotland's chief royal castle; now it is home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny, 15th century gun Mons Meg, One O'Clock Gun and the National War Museum. All of these artifacts are rich with history and can all be found on one of the castle's many tours.
The Crown, Scepter and Sword of State are the oldest crown jewels in the British Isles. The Stone of Destiny is believed to have been a Biblical relic — it is the pillow where Jacob rested his head and dreamt of Jacob's Ladder (ladder to heaven). Mon's Meg is a 15th century cannon and is currently being restored. The One O'Clock Gun is fired every day at 1 p.m. except for Sundays, Christmas and Good Friday. This practice began in 1861 to provide ships in the Firth of Forth with an audible time signal to help them set the maritime clocks needed to navigate a long journey around the globe. In 1933 the National War Museum opened and includes letters to home, Highland broadswords and chemical warfare suits.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. The Queen stays here during Holyrood week, a celebration of Scottish culture, history and achievement, which typically takes place from the end of June to the beginning of July. Although this is the current home of the Queen during her visits, it is best known as the Home of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Tours of the Palace include a tour of the State Apartments, which is where the Queen lives, Mary Queen of Scots chambers, and the Abbey during the summer months. There are audio tours available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin and Brazilian Portuguese.
For more info, go to Visit Britain