Some Random Pictures of Edinburgh

Taken in May/June 2018.

Corner of Princes St and Lothian Rd. St John’s Episcopal Church and St Cuthbert’s Church of Scotland Church
Who ever heard of „fair trade“ churches! How inclusive and p.c. can you get? And they even have some foreigner with an unpronounceable name for minister.
Scott Memorial
New Town: George St
New Town: Queen St
New Town: Queen St
New Town: Queen St (with Scottish National Portrait Gallery)
New Town: Hanover St
New Town: Hanover St, looking towards the Old Town
York Place, corner of Dublin St
York Place
Calton Hill from Picardy Place
Old Calton Burying Ground (#DavidHume)
Old Calton Burying Ground
Old Calton Burying Ground
Waverley Station from Waterloo Place
Waterloo Place
Waterloo Place
North Bridge
Roof of Waverley Station from North Bridge
North Bridge with Arthur’s Seat (covered in blooming gorse) in the background
North Bridge
View from North Bridge
View from North Bridge
Old Town
Old Town. High St with Tron Kirk
Old Town
View down George IV Bridge
Old Town
Old Town with former Highland Kirk (1844)
Old Town: St Giles Cathedral
The Castle at dusk
Coates Gardens
Regent Terrace, with Arthur’s Seat in the distance
Close-up of the summit of Arthur’s Seat. It must be the tourist season.
Salisbury Crags from Regent Terrace, with the new Scottish parliament building in the foreground
Salisbury Crags from Regent Terrace
New Calton Burying Ground, with Arthur’s Seat in the distance
New Calton Burying Ground. The Stevenson’s family business was the building of lighthouses (!). But if the Stevenson family plot is one of the few in this cemetery to be in a reasonable state of repair, it is because it helps to…
…have a famous writer in the family (yes, him of „Treasure Island“ fame). In fact, however, R.L.S. is only commemorated here, not buried: born in Edinburgh in 1850, he died in Samoa in 1894, and was buried there. „It [Samoa] is beautiful, and my home and my tomb that is to be; though it is a wrench not to be planted in Scotland — that I can never deny.“
Craigmillar Castle. „Edinburgh’s Other Castle“. Only a few kilometres from the city centre in what could nonetheless be mistaken for open country!
Craigmillar Castle. The sort of thing I for one can’t take my eyes off.
St Giles Cathedral. It served as a „cathedral“ (bishop’s church) only briefly when, in the 17C, the crown tried unsuccessfully to impose episcopalianism on Scotland. Officially it’s the „High Kirk of Edinburgh“ — but no one calls it that, it seems.
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral
St Giles Cathedral: the new(-ish) organ in the transept (57 / iii+P, Rieger Orgelbau, Schwarzach (Austria) 1992)
St Giles Cathedral. The Thistle Chapel, so called because it is was purpose-built for the annual meeting of the 16 Knights (and, these days, Knightesses) of the The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, a Scottish chivalrous order not in fact all THAT ancient. (The current version was founded by Queen Anne in 1702 — her dad, James VII/II, originally founded it in 1687, but that first version somehow got lost in the „Glorious Revolution“, which of course toppled James.)
St Giles Cathedral. The Thistle Chapel is all of 107 years old (completed 1911) but…
…never fails to impress.
St Giles Cathedral. (This, by contrast, is „real “ Gothic, circa 600 years old. The window tracery was mostly redone in the 19C though.)

St Giles Cathedral (Would it not, I wonder, be enough simply to thank Mr James Young Simpson?)
St Giles Cathedral: the famous 15C „crown“ steeple
Parliament Square with the Court of Session, Scotland’s highest civil court. The neoclassical fa√ßade, begun in 1807, hides the 1640s Parliament Hall, where the Scottish Parliament met until its dissolution in 1707. Parliament Hall was also used by the Court of Session even when first built. St Giles is on the left.
Parliament Sq. This rather splendid statue meant to depict Charles II was put up in 1685.
Though clearly competent the sculptor made no attempt to make the face look anything like the real Charles II. Instead…
…he obviously went for some kind of generic „Roman Caesar“ look. So to find out who this is supposed to be you need to…
…refer to the label.
With St Giles on its other side Charles II’s statue alternatively photographs with a gothic backdrop.
More or less the same view circa 1800 (St Giles as yet minus the Thistle Chapel but complete with shops then surrounding it). The painting hangs in the Museum of Edinburgh in the wonderful 16C Huntly House. It presumably predates the present Court of Session building since that prevents you from getting this far back from the statue.
National Museum of Scotland. Like its Glasgow analogue the Kelvingrove Gallery this is very much a Victorian „museum of everything“.
Crowded on all sides by other exhibits even the obligatory T. rex has to jostle for attention. I find the format a bit exhausting but as in Glasgow it’s clearly hugely popular.
National Museum of Scotland. Victorian radiator.
National Museum of Scotland. The key sentence of the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath is painted on the rear wall.
National Museum of Scotland. The Declaration of Arbroath continues on the opposite wall.
Whoever drafted this (a plausible suspect is Bernard of Kilwinning, Abbot of Arbroath and Chancellor of Scotland) evidently knew his classics. This sentence echoes Sallust, Catilina 32.
National Museum of Scotland. St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland, with his „saltire“ (the diagonal cross, also of course the name of the Scottish flag) and a carrier bag with a book in it.
National Museum of Scotland ( = NMS)
National Museum of Scotland. The famous 12C chess pieces from the Isle of Lewis, Scottish section. (The British Museum in London has all the others.)
George Heriot’s School. I automatically assumed this to be a Victorian building. But though the Victorians couldn’t quite keep their hands off it it turns out to be, in essence, the genuine article, constructed soon after the school was founded in 1628.
George Heriot’s School. „Jinglin‘ Geordie [= George Heriot], Edinburgh’s richest man in the latter reign of James VI, won his nickname from the sound made by the coins he carried about him as he walked the streets….He became jeweller to Queen Anne [of Denmark, married to James VI], then in 1603 followed the royal couple to London to supply the cascades of gems that kept her contented while lubricating [is that word being used ON PURPOSE?] the king’s relationships with his male favourites. They were always slow to pay; Heriot still made a fortune. Because he died with no legitimate heirs [were, one wonders, his relations with the king’s male favourites PURELY financial?] he left his estate to establish…George Heriot’s School… Its buildings offer the best example of Jacobean architecture in Edinburgh.“ Michael Fry: Edinburgh. A History of the City (2009), p150.
Entrance to Greyfriars Kirkyard. This not only has the grave of the famous dog (Greyfriars Bobby) but also…
…the most stupendous collection of High Baroque sepulcral monuments I’ve ever seen anywhere in an open-air cemetery. In fact I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
I count myself among the last people to see these monuments. Incomprehensibly, NOTHING is apparently done to save them from the Scottish weather.
Greyfriars Kirkyard. „Jusqu’√† la mort“ — Even Unto Death.

„CF“ and „IB“ look like a slightly dowdy middle-aged couple, but perhaps that makes it all the more poignant.
The former Royal Infirmary (now moved to the suburbs), undergoing redevelopment.
Part of the former Royal Infirmary in the background.
Old College. Main building of the University of Edinburgh, begun in 1789. At which point it was quite new (and indeed called New College) — not just in the obvious sense, but also because Edinburgh university had in fact been operating already since 1582.
Old College

Auto-labelled image. Dean Bridge is so called because it spans the Water of Leith at Dean Village.
Dean Village and Water of Leith, with Dean Bridge in the background. (Well, the church at one end of the bridge anyway.)(„Water of Leith“ is actually the name of a river, so called because it flows into the North Sea at Leith, which is the port of Edinburgh.)
Water of Leith with St Bernard’s Well (1789)
The Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse. H.M. resides here every year for a few days before going on to Balmoral for her summer holiday.
Holyroodhouse Palace
Holyroodhouse Palace mostly dates from the late 17C, though part of it goes back to the early 16C.
Holyroodhouse Palace: gardens with the remains of the abbey church. Arthur’s Seat in the background.
The palace grew out of a guesthouse forming part of the once-great Holyrood Abbey. After the Reformation the transept and choir of the abbey church were demolished, leaving only the nave to serve as the palace chapel (the rear wall with its fine traceried window dates from the 17C). Even that was so neglected that in the 18C the roof fell in.
Victoria Street was cut through the Old Town in 1829.
Old Town with former Highland Kirk (1844)
Home Street
Barclay Viewforth Church of Scotland church (1864)