Famous Edinburgh

Things to Do, What's New — By Christina Maria Paschyn on September 15, 2010 at 2:42 am

Not only is Edinburgh one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in the world, it’s been the home and playing ground of quite a few remarkable individuals.

Here’s a lit of some famous Scots and the sites associated with them in Edinburgh:

Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 – 1932): A pioneering architect in Edinburgh’s Old Town, he also planned buildings and cities in India and Palestine. Fittingly, he is regarded as the father of town planning.

Edinburgh's Old Town

Robert Adam (1728 – 1792): Another architect but this one is noted for his elegant terraces in the New Town of Edinburgh.

Sir Robert Sibbald (1641 – 1722): Founded Edinburgh’s first botanical garden and the Royal College of Physicians. He was also cartographer-royal and wrote books on the topography of Fife and Stirlingshire.

Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832): One of Scotland’s greatest writers and poets, he was an ardent patriot and is best known for the Waverley Novels. Visit the Walter Scott monument on Princes Street.

John Knox (1505 – 1572): Father of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, he vehemently opposed Catholicism and Mary Queen of Scots. He often preached from the pulpit at St. Giles’ Cathedral. Visit the John Knox House on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

John Knox House

Dr. Robert Knox (1791 – 1862) : An anatomist who worked at the Medical School in Edinburgh and received his specimens from infamous grave robbers, Burke and Hare. They later turned to murder to satisfy their greed. Visit the Burke and Hare pub for, um, a different kind of midnight mayhem.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930): Author of the Sherlock Holmes detective series, he graduated from Edinburgh University in medicine.  Learn more about Doyle and other famous Scottish writers on a literary pub tour.

Ewan McGregor (1971-present): My personal favorite! This sexy Scotsman made cinematic history in Trainspotting. Recreate the movie’s beginning chase scene yourself on the Mound between the Princes Street gardens, where two of country’s best art galleries are located: the Royal Scottish Academy and the adjacent National Gallery of Scotland.

Meeting Ewan McGregor!

[Photo Credits: Old Town by Nevit Dilmen; John Knox House by Maksim; Ewan McGregor by Christina Paschyn]

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