With its castle dominating the skyline and its streets upon streets of beautiful, antiquated buildings, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh has a lot to offer when it comes to architecture. Whatever piques your interest – whether it’s medieval churches, centuries-old castles, or even the new, controversial parliament building – there’s certainly no shortage of culturally and architecturally-significant buildings dotted all over the Scottish capital.
That’s why we’ve put together just a few of the most interesting buildings to get you started, and to give you a small glimpse of what Edinburgh has to offer.
One of the most prominent and awe-inspiring sights in Scotland, it’s difficult to ignore Edinburgh castle. Sitting atop an extinct volcano, the castle has come to symbolise Edinburgh as a city. However, it’s not just aesthetically impressive – Edinburgh castle also has a long and interesting history. The ancient Royal Palace, which sits in the middle of the structure, was the birthplace of England’s King James I, and still houses Scotland’s crown jewels to this day.
St Giles Cathedral
Originally dating from as early as the 12th century, St Giles is one of Edinburgh’s most venerable architectural attractions. Over the years, the cathedral has to continued to evolve and grow, and now combines facets of many different architectural styles, including medieval gothic and Renaissance. See also: Edinburgh history
Situated at the bottom of the Royal Mile (Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare), Holyrood Palace (or the Palace of Holyroodhouse, to give it its full title) is the official Scottish residence for the British monarch. Like the castle, the palace also boasts a long and interesting history, and has served as the primary home for Scottish kings and queens since medieval times. The palace, which can be viewed by the public, is also where Queen Elizabeth spends one week each year at the beginning of the summer, during which time she performs a number of official ceremonies and engagements.
The Scottish Parliament building
No list of Edinburgh’s architecture would be complete without at least a mention of the Scottish Parliament building, which has left critics and members of the public divided since its completion in 2004. Some love it, others hate it. Whatever your opinion, though, it’s worth a look.