One of the most recognisable historic sites in Europe, and certainly the first thing that springs to mind when visualising Edinburgh; Edinburgh Castle sits proudly in the centre of the Edinburgh Skyline. A popular tourist destination - the castle has sat atop Castle Rock (formed from volcanic activity) in one form for another for so long that it holds the rather awkward title of “the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world”. Congratulations? Generally speaking: visitors today have decidedly less conquering in mind, although I suppose one can never rule such things out.
The first documented evidence of a castle at the Castle Rock location is from during the reign of King Malcolm III (1031 – 1093), however an archaeological study from the 90s confirmed that settlements have existed on Castle Rock as far back as the late Iron Age (which the history buffs among you will be able to confirm was, like, a really long time ago). The annals of history record countless poems and stories of medieval battles where one tribe was slaughtered by another, who were then slaughtered by someone else. Sounds like a fun time to be alive, and while these historical records are all a little sketchy and hard to verify, it seems clear that the site atop Castle Rock has a very long and bloody history that predates Edinburgh ever being a city.
The castle played a prominent role in early iterations of the Scottish Parliament, the Church Of Scotland, and, of course, Scotland’s military. As with all medieval history it changed hands a million times with all the conquering and death and frankly I don’t feel like turning this blog post into a 20,000 word dissertation on the subject. If you want to delve into the details then there are literally thousands of books out there on the subject. It’s super old with a ton of history, ok? What do you want from me? I write blogs for a serviced apartment company. Jeez.
Present day castle doesn’t really serve any kind of administrative purpose anymore, although technically the British Army still has a presence there. Now it is all about the tourism, and it does a very good job of that with an estimated 2 million visitors in 2019 (let’s not talk about the 2020 numbers…). There’s quite a lot to see at Edinburgh Castle, and guided tours are available daily. If you’d rather go it alone then that’s ok too, so be sure to take in such marvels as The Great Hall (completed in 1511), The Stone Of Destiny (a really super important stone) and St Margaret’s Chapel.
The site of the castle perched atop Castle Rock in the middle of the city is what sets apart the aesthetic of Edinburgh from other European cities. Few destinations around Western Europe can boast such a focal point, and it really elevates the feel of the city to heights unreachable by other places which don’t have as rich of a history as Edinburgh does. If you’d like to gaze in admiration at the castle while taking your morning coffee or relaxing in the evening, then why not book one of our apartments with a castle view? Our Chisholm Hunter Suites, Hanover Apartments, Princes Street and Charlotte Square Apartments buildings all have apartments that boast a fine view of the castle. Please check our website for details and get ready to bathe in the majesty of the most besieged place in Britain.