Curiosities about Edinburgh

Not everybody knows that:…

Edinburgh population, about 460.000 inhabitants, reaches one million people during the famous festivals which take place in August. Every year, in fact, in the city streets the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay takes place, the biggest new year’s eve party of the world!

The founder of the America National Parks is commemorated at the John Muir House & Country Park, just outside Edinburgh. The Fettes School of Edinburgh can boast about to have had among its pupils the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In literary fiction, in this school also studied the famous 007 agent, James Bond. And it was always in this school that a little boy, born in Edinburgh, used to deliver milk: Sean Connery. This boy would have later become the famous character of the 007 story fiction.

Edinburgh University, one of the most prestigious in the world, was founded in 1583. Edinburgh Castle, which defines the city skyline, is the most visited monument of Scotland, with one million tourists every year. The Royal Yacht Britannia, used by the Royal Family for 44 years, is the last of a series of Royal yachts, currently moored at the Terminal Ocean, in the historical port of Leith.

In the centre of Edinburgh stands the Old Calton Burial Ground, a monument raised in honour of the British soldiers who died in the American civil War, and a statue of Abraham Lincoln, the first one made outside the USA. Alexander Graham Bell, who patented the telephone invented by Meucci, was born in Edinburgh. Like his father, he was an educator for deaf people. Emigrated to Canada, he finally became professor at the School of Oratory, at Boston University.

Where the gardens in Princes Street host the most ancient flower watch of the world, the Royal Botanic Garden host in the glasshouse the tallest palm-tree of England. Holyrood House is the official summer residence of the Queen. The Palace hosts the apartments where May Stuart lived. But her funeral mask is kept at Lennoxlove House, residence of the Duke Hamilton, situated just outside Edinburgh.

Cinema

The true story of Bobby, a terrier who remained in charge of his master’s tomb for 14 years, inspired a film in 1961 and a remake shot in Edinburgh. A statue in Bobby’s honour was raised on George IV Bridge, opposite the Greyfriar’s Bobby pub.
Endinburgh has been the background of many films, among which are “The 39 Steps”, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”, “Jude”, and “Mary Reilly”.

Curiosities

The Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre is dedicated to the history of Scotch whisky and its aroma and benefits. For passionate of this drink it may be worthy a visit to the most famous distillery of south Scotland, Glenkinchie, about 30 minutes car from Edinburgh.

The term “caddie” originally defined the young boys who carried water to the Old Town buildings by means of baskets. The term was later applied to Golf by Mary Stuart, who was a skilled golfer. The word probably comes from the French “cadets”, which the Queen used to indicate students carrying her sticks.

Literature

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter saga, wrote her first book: “Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone” in a café in Edinburgh. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, was born in Edinburgh. A Sherlock Holmes’s statue has been raised in Picardy Place to celebrate the place where the famous writer was born. It’s the only statue of its kind raised in the United Kingdom.

Robert Louis Stevenson lived in Heriot Row in the New Town. His famous work “The Lantern-Bearers” was inspired by the boy who used to light the lanterns just under Stevenson’s window. There are many places in town which remind of the writer, like the “Jekyll & Hyde” pub, the “Deacon Brodie’s Tavern”, maybe from the name of another character who inspired Stevenson, and the “Hawes Inn” in South Queensferry, reminding of the atmosphere that can be found in the story “Kidnapped”.

The Macallan Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour, is the path for all lovers of English literature’s heroes. it includes famous and less famous pubs of the Old and New Town. The tour terminates at Milne’s Bar, once a meeting place for all Scottish literates and intellectuals.

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