Edinburgh history

Edinburgh, capital of Scotland and seat of the Scottish parliament, is one of the most famous tourist destinations of Great Britain. The first urban settlements in the area date back to the VII century AC, but the development of the modern city and the political power only began in the XV century. It was in fact in 1437 that the city was chosen as capital. Its favourable position on the estuary of river Fort fostered the growth of the port and trade activities (XVIII cent.), but the fundamental rush was given by heavy and naval industry, which started to develop soon after British industrial revolution.

Edinburgh population considerably increased, to the extent that a “New Town” grew up, in contrast with the original nucleon of the Old Town.
Today Edinburgh population counts more than 450.000 inhabitants. Beside the traditional activities linked to naval and heavy industry, fishing and agriculture, other two important industries took over: whisky production and oil and methane extraction in the North Sea. But the most relevant entry in Scottish economy is represented today by tourism. The cultural growth of Scotland in general, and Edinburgh in particular, can be found back in the Enlightenment Age and the Romantic period, when Edinburgh turned into one of the cultural capitals of Europe, and the natural landscapes of the Highlands drew poets and romantic painters from all over the continent.

Tourism in Edinburgh is strictly bound to the numerous festival which take place in the city, especially in summer, and to its lively cultural life. Amidst the most famous festivals are the Blues Festival, the Military Parade Festival, the international Festival and the Book Fair. For this reason, Edinburgh has been designated by Unesco a “World Protected Heritage“.

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