Interesting Facts about Edinburgh
1. Random Fact: Edinburgh's nickname, Auld Reekie (Old Smoky), marks an era when the city's buildings and homes burnt a lot of coal and wood for heat and chimneys would emit columns of smoke into the air.
2. Geological Fact: The rock on which Edinburgh Castle
is built is the plug of an extinct volcano. Following glacial erosion it formed a crag and tail formation: The Castle Rock and the Royal Mile
3. Interesting Fact: The Royal Mile
is called this because it's a mile long street with two royal buildings on each end - Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace
4. Paranormal Fact: Edinburgh is said to be one of the most haunted places in Europe because it is home to the Mackenzie Poltergeist
, the violent spirit of a 17th century murderer and torturer who haunts Greyfriars Kirkyard
5. Creepy Fact: The 19th century body snatchers Burke and Hare
murdered some 15 people in the city to sell their cadavers to the medical college. Burke's death mask and a wallet made from his skin are on display in the Surgeons' Hall Museums.
6. Heartwarming Fact: One of the most photographed monuments in Edinburgh is Greyfriars Bobby
, the statue of a 19th century Skye terrier who spent 14 years guarding his master's grave. Is sits at the corner of Candlemaker Row and the George IV Bridge.
7. Embarrassing Fact: Modeled on the Parthenon in Athens, the National Monument on Calton Hill
is referred to as Edinburgh's Folly or Edinburgh's Shame because it was never completed due to a lack of funds.
8. Royal Fact: Tourists can view the mythical Stone of Destiny in Edinburgh Castle
's Crown Room. It is still used for the crowning of English monarchs.
9. Mysterious Fact: In Edinburgh's Old Town lies the Real Mary King's Close
, a long-forgotten underground series of streets that was built over as the city's population grew. It is now a commercial attraction.
10. Weird Fact: From 1477-1911, the Grassmarket was the site of one of Edinburgh's main horse and cattle markets. It was also the location of public executions.
11. Celebrity Fact: J.K. Rowling penned the first novel in her Harry Potter
series at the Elephant House cafe
on George IV Bridge.
12. Festive Fact: Every August thousands of tourists swarm the city for the Edinburgh Festival
, which is composed of several different arts and cultural festivals.
Things to See in Edinburgh
Museum of Scotland
National Gallery of Scotland