DIN EIDYN - Archaeologists have found evidence for human occupation of the Castle Rock reaching back to 900 BC, the late Bronze Age. During the Roman occupation of Scotland in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, it was a thriving settlement. In those far-off days they called the place Din Eidyn, ‘the stronghold of Eidyn’. Then came the invading Angles, around AD 638, and ever since then the rock has been known by its English name - Edinburgh.
A ROYAL CASTLE - In the Middle Ages Edinburgh became Scotland’s chief royal castle - seat of royalty, headquarters of the sheriff of Edinburgh, military garrison and storehouse of the royal gun train, and repository of the nation’s crown jewels and state records.
Impressive buildings were constructed, including the 12th-century St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest building in Edinburgh, David’s Tower, built for David II, Robert the Bruce’s son, in the 1370s, and the monumental great hall of James IV, opened in 1511. But the long and bitter Wars of Independence with the ‘auld enemy’, England, took their toll, and the castle endured siege upon siege; Edward I, Edward III and Henry VIII all did their utmost to batter down the walls.
In 1566 Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in the royal palace within the castle. The tiny bed-closet still survives, a room that has a special significance for Great Britain, for in 1603 James VI became also James I of England - the ‘Union of the Crowns’. The departure of the Scottish court for London saw much of the royal ‘glitter’ go from the castle. Thereafter the stronghold became little more than a garrison fortress and arsenal. The last sovereign to sleep there was Charles I in 1633, prior to his coronation as king of Scots.
(cited from the Edinburgh Castle’s website at http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/index/story/story-about-the-castle.htm)
For the Castle Through the Ages timeline and more information about the Edinburgh Castle, visit: http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/index/story.htm
I was on an early morning stroll in Scotland’s second largest city, Edinburgh (pronounced: edd-in-bra) - a beautiful, historical dark medieval town. The cobblestone streets glistened with the dew leftover from the nights rain as I took careful step after careful step up the slippery Grassmarket streets, bypassing the Whisky Experience museum and various tourist shops until I came to the street entrance of the castle. There were many groups of school children and plenty of Asian tourist families on the way up to the castle gates, with various guards keeping watch - even though the castle hasn’t had a monarch rule within the grounds since 1633.
I met my guide within the walled castle at it’s narrow gate up the hill and together we walked through the winding stone levels of the castle. He enlightened me with interesting historical facts - facts that my audio equipment decided not to pickup (I blame the mighty wind). SO unfortunately, you will just have to take a visit yourself to understand the magic of the Edinburgh castle. But definitely add this to your bucket list as a place you must see before you die - however, I would extend your visit beyond the castle, because the entire mood of the city works harmoniously together to craft my favorite European city experience.
The castle is perched on an extinct volcano.
Best time to visit - early in the morning to beat the crowds. Or for the best photo ops, try waiting for sunset in the winter time.
Prices - adult £16, child £9.20, concession £13.00
Hours - summer 9:30am - 6pm, winter 9:30am - 5pm
Address - I mean, come on - this thing is on a volcanic mountain in the middle of downtown, you’ll see it! ;-)
3D tour - http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/index/tour/3d.htm
Travel information - http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/index/plan.htm
Website - http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/
My recommendation - Definitely a MUST SEE of the UK!