Edinburgh Facts

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 respectively.

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

  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Holyroodhouse Palace
  • Murrayfield Stadium
  • Museum of Scotland
  • National Gallery of Scotland

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