At one end of The Royal Mile, perched atop volcanic Castle Rock offering a commanding view of the city below, sits Edinburgh Castle, with early location references dating back to the Iron Age, when warriors defended a hill fort, approximately the 9th Century BC. Documented reference to a name dates from the 2nd Century AD, when the Romans referred to the site as “Alauna” (rock place), and around 600 AD there is mention of Din Eidyn, or “the stronghold of Eidyn.”
There is a long and rich history associated with Alauna aka Castle Rock and the bastion crowning the skyline, with references to a “Castle of Maidens,” circa 1093, a name used until the 16th Century. There had been a royal residence on the site for about 500 years, since David I reigned (circa 1124), until the 17th century when the castle became a military fortress with a large garrison.
The castle has been involved in many of Scotland’s struggles and has been successfully defended, as well as overcome and defeated. Few of the buildings present today pre-date the 16th century Lang Siege, when military bombardment destroyed most of the fortifications, with the oldest being a chapel, which dates from the early 12th Century. Historically, Edinburgh Castle is literally a treasure.
After a healthy upward-incline hike to the castle’s entrance and strolling through the grounds of the fortress, one can see that it is a large citadel, but the enormity of its size is only fully appreciated when viewed from the north, along Princes Street, taking in the whole of Castle Rock and Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh Castle is the most popular tourist attraction in Scotland, with over 1.3 million visitors logged during 2011. When in the United Kingdom, a trip to this very notable and celebrated stronghold is well worth the visit.
Over For Now.
Main Street One