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Scottish Cities

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital and second largest city in Scotland. Founded on Castle Rock by ancient British tribes who utilised the strategic elevated position of the volcanic rock. It is named after Edwin, King of Northumbria in the 7th century. Edinburgh did not develop into a town until the 11th century, but it soon grew and in 1532 it was declared Scotland's capital.
Edinburgh Castle has been the home of Scottish Royalty for many centuries. The Scottish Crown Jewels are kept in the Old Royal Palace, and it was here, in a small cramped room, that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to the future King James VI. Inside the castle walls is the 11th century St Margaret's Chapel. Built in 1076, this is the oldest roofed building in Scotland. The castle is open to visitors and guided tours are given regularly.
The city itself is broken up into two sections: the Old Town and the New Town. The narrow medieval streets of the Old Town stretch east from Castle Hill to Holyrood Abbey. Many medieval buildings are here, including the Parliament House, St Giles Cathedral, the house of John Knox, and Brodie's Close. The New Town is just north of the castle. It was built in the early 19th century and contains many elegant streets lined with Georgian buildings. A beautiful view of impressive Castle hill can be seen from Princes Street. At night this view is even more spectacular.
Edinburgh contains many art galleries and museums. The National Gallery of Scotland, in the New Town, is by far the most impressive. A large collection of European and British paintings from the Renaissance to the 20th century are on display. Famous artists include Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Ramsay and Raphael. Today Edinburgh is a lively city and a huge cultural centre.

Scotland's Capital Edinburgh.

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Glasgow

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and in its prime it was often referred to as the 'Second Capital'. Glasgow was founded in the 6th century by St Mungo. He built a church here and the town slowly grew around it. Glasgow grew over the centuries and by 1450 it was declared a city. The city gained wealth and importance during the Industrial Revolution due to its iron and steel production. Glasgow grew even more after the Union of Parliaments was signed in 1707 and trade with America made the huge port famous. Glasgow's importance began to decline in the 20th century beginning with the Depression in the 1930's. Today the city is a successful centre of modern technology.  Glasgow offers a full range of entertainment throughout the year. The Royal Scottish Opera, the Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Ballet can all be found here. The Mayfest is a three week long festival featuring ballet, art, opera and music. Large Folk Festivals run through June and July and the World Pipe Band Championships are held in August. Glasgow Cathedral was built mainly in the 13th century at the site of the original church built by St Mungo. His tomb can be seen in the Lower Church under an impressive fan vaulted ceiling. One of the cathedral's most splendid features is the 15th century stone screen with impressions of the Seven Deadly Sins carved on its corbels.  In the centre of the city, on the banks of the River Clyde, is one of Britain's oldest parks, Glasgow Green. The People's Palace Social History Museum can be found here. Collections of Glasgow's art dating from 1175 to the present day are on display.   The Burrell Museum is three miles south of the city in Pollock Country Park. The museum's collection was given to Glasgow by Sir William Burrell, a wealthy industrialist who died in 1958. The collection is massive, including silver, bronzes, Oriental jade, furniture, tapestries, prints, needlework and paintings. 

 Glasgow Guide

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Dundee

Situated on the north side of the Firth of Tay. Dundee is the administrative centre for the Tayside Region of east Scotland and the country's fourth largest city.
Dundee was a famous ship building centre in the 18th century. Today it is an industrial city that has many sights on its famed port. On the waterfront two historic ships can be seen. The H.M.S. Unicorn is a wooden ship of 46 guns that was built in 1824. The Unicorn is the oldest British warship still afloat and it is still fitted as it was on its last voyage. One of the last of the original sailing ships made in Britain is the Discovery. It was a research ship built in 1901 that was used by Captain Scott on two expeditions to Antarctica. It is now anchored at Craig Pier and is open for tours.  The McManus Galleries are located in Albert Square. The gallery exhibits collections of Victorian art and archaeological materials of the area. Outside the gallery is a statue of the famous poet Robert Burns.
The city is linked to the south side of the Firth by rail and road bridges.
The Howff Burial Ground is located just north of the city square. This land was once an orchard to a monastery, until it was destroyed in 1548. It became a burial ground in 1564, when Mary, Queen of Scots, gave the land to the town. For three centuries the Howff has been the chief burial ground for the area.

City of Dundee

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Perth

Perth lies beside the River Tay in the Tayside region, it is the smallest of   Scotland's cities. The Scottish Parliament met there on occasions and it was the home of many Scottish kings.Perth is an historical city that was once the capital of medieval Scotland. The city had religious importance because it was the home to the large monasteries of the Black Friars, the Grey Friars, the White Friars and the Carthusian's. These monasteries were destroyed after the sermons of John Knox in 1559 when he launched the Scottish reformation from the pulpit of St John's Kirk. 
The central part of the town is located between two large parks known as the North Inch and the South Inch. A plaque can be found just to the south of the North Inch reminding all of the violence that occurred at this site. It was here that the Black Friars Monastery was destroyed. James I was assassinated here by Sir Robert Graham in 1437. In 1396, the area was the location of violent judicial fighting between Clans.  The Fair Maid's House is said to be the oldest house in Perth. Sir Walter Scott chose this as the fictional home of Catherine Glover, the heroine of The Fair Maid of Perth. The house now serves as a craft shop.  Scone Palace can be found a few miles north of Perth. Between the 9th and 13th centuries the sacred Stone of Destiny was guarded here. It was seized by Edward I in the 13th century and kept in Westminster Abbey until recently when it was returned to Scotland.
 

City of Perth

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  Aberdeen

Aberdeen has grown considerably since 1972 and is now the third largest city in Scotland.  There is much here for visitors who have an interest in history and art. The oldest house in Aberdeen is Provost Skene's House. Built in 1545, it was once the home of Sir George Skene, a mayor of Aberdeen in the 17th century. Two hundred years of design can be seen inside the period rooms. The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is  located in Shiprow, overlooking the harbour. Exhibitions trace the local seafaring history of Aberdeen. Displays on shipwrecks, fishing, shipbuilding, wrecks and rescues, and the workings of the oil fields can be found here.  The Art Gallery features collections of 18th to 20th century art. The decorative arts collection is comprised mostly of Aberdonian silver. Collections of jewellery, ceramics, tapestries and glass can all be seen here.  St. Machar's Cathedral is a 15th century granite structure built by Bishop Lichtoun. The stonework of one of the arches dates back to the 14th century. The nave currently serves as the parish church. The oak ceiling is covered with 48 shields from Pope Leo X, St. Margaret, and many kings, bishops and nobles of Scotland Marischal College was founded in 1593 by George Keith, the 5th Earl Marischal. In 1906, Marishcal College joined with King's College and formed Aberdeen University. In Mitchell Hall a window can be seen that illustrates the history of the University. This section of the college is open to visitors.   

City of Aberdeen

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Inverness

Often referred to as the 'capital' of the highlands Inverness is the northernmost major city of Scotland. Once a small village nestling on the shores of the River Ness, Inverness is today a thriving, modern town and commercial centre. The heart of the town offers a wide variety of shopping experiences from the ubiquitous souvenir shops to famous high street retailers like Marks & Spencer. Inverness boasts some of the finest traditional kilt making shops in Scotland and no holiday would be complete without a visit to watch the most famous of all Scottish garments being made. Enjoy a short stroll along the banks of the River Ness, taking in the beautiful St. Andrew's Cathedral, famous for it's unfinished twin spires.

Inverness, Capital of the Highlands.

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