Edinburgh: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Edinburgh.

  • Edinburgh, situated on the south bank of the Firth of Forth, is the capital of Scotland. The city has a population of about 483,000, making it the 7th largest city in the UK (2014).
  • The Edinburgh Festival was first held in 1947 and is one of the biggest in the world. Every year, over a million people attend for the music, dance and theatre.

  • Some of the UK’s most famous writers and scientists have come from Edinburgh, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Graham Bell and Ian Rankin.
  • The infamous grave robbers, Burke and Hare, lived in Edinburgh, and murdered as many as 19 people in the 19th century. A wallet made from Burke’s skin can be seen in the Surgeon’s Hall Museum.
  • Edinburgh Castle is the city’s most popular sight, attracting 1.25 million visitors each year. The 12th century castle sits on the 130 metre high remains of an ancient volcano.
  • The city was often nicknamed Auld Reekie (smoky) during the 19th century. The name was given because of the huge amount of smoke produced from burning wood and coal.
  • The Royal Mile, which as the name suggests, is a mile long, is Edinburgh’s most famous street. It connects the castle with the 16th century Holyroodhouse Palace, the official Scottish home of the Queen.
  • One of the most photographed monuments in Edinburgh is that of a small dog called Greyfriars Bobby. Apparently, the dog spent 14 years faithfully guarding his owner’s grave.
  • The Stone of Destiny or Coronation Stone is a legendary stone kept in Edinburgh Castle and used for centuries at Royal coronations. Some legends say that the stone dates from Biblical times.
  • Mary King’s Close is a series of 16th century underground streets and buildings, which were paved over as the city grew. They are supposedly haunted and are now a popular Edinburgh attraction.

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