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Edinburgh ( ; gd, Dùn Èideann ) is the
capital city A capital city or capital is the municipality holding primary status in a country, state, province, department, or other subnational entity, usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses t ...
of
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to ...
and one of its 32
council areas For local government purposes, Scotland is divided into 32 areas designated as "council areas" ( gd, comhairlean), which are all governed by single-tier authorities designated as "councils". They have the option under the Local Government (Ga ...
. Historically part of the county of
Midlothian Midlothian (; gd, Meadhan Lodainn) is a historic county, registration county, lieutenancy area and one of 32 council areas of Scotland used for local government. Midlothian lies in the east- central Lowlands, bordering the City of Edinbu ...
(interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is located in
Lothian Lothian (; sco, Lowden, Loudan, -en, -o(u)n; gd, Lodainn ) is a region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills and the Moorfoot Hills. The principal settlement is the Scott ...
on the southern shore of the
Firth of Forth The Firth of Forth () is the estuary, or firth, of several Scottish rivers including the River Forth. It meets the North Sea with Fife on the north coast and Lothian on the south. Name ''Firth'' is a cognate of ''fjord'', a Norse word meani ...
. Edinburgh is Scotland's second-most populous city, after
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated popu ...
, and the seventh-most populous city in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotland, Wales and ...
. Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyr ...
and the highest courts in Scotland. The city's
Palace of Holyroodhouse The Palace of Holyroodhouse ( or ), commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace or Holyroodhouse, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh ...
is the
official residence An official residence is the House, residence of a head of state, head of government, governor, Clergy, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other senior figure. It may be the same place where they conduct their work-relate ...
of the
British monarchy The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional form of government by which a hereditary sovereign reigns as the head of state of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies (the Bailiwi ...
in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scottish law, literature, philosophy, the sciences, and engineering. It is the second-largest financial centre in the United Kingdom, and the city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the UK's second-most visited tourist destination attracting 4.9 million visits, including 2.4 million from overseas in 2018. ''Time Out'' magazine rated Edinburgh the best city in the world in 2022. Edinburgh's official population estimates are (mid-2020) for the
locality Locality may refer to: * Locality (association), an association of community regeneration organizations in England * Locality (linguistics) * Locality (settlement) * Suburbs and localities (Australia), in which a locality is a geographic subdivis ...
, (mid-2019) for the City of Edinburgh
council area {{Unreferenced, date=May 2019, bot=noref (GreenC bot) A council area is one of the areas defined in Schedule 1 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994 and is under the control of one of the local authorities in Scotland created by that Act. ...
, which takes in some outlying villages in the western part of its territory, and 1,384,950 (2019) for the wider Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region which also includes
East Lothian East Lothian (; sco, East Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Ear) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, as well as a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area. The county was called Haddingtonshire until 1921. In 1975, the his ...
,
Fife Fife (, ; gd, Fìobha, ; sco, Fife) is a council area, historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries with Perth and Kinross ...
, Midlothian, the
Scottish Borders The Scottish Borders ( sco, the Mairches, 'the Marches'; gd, Crìochan na h-Alba) is one of 32 council areas of Scotland. It borders the City of Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway, East Lothian, Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, West Lot ...
and
West Lothian West Lothian ( sco, Wast Lowden; gd, Lodainn an Iar) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and was one of its historic counties. The county was called Linlithgowshire until 1925. The historic county was bounded geographically by the A ...
. The city is the annual venue of the
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is the sovereign and highest court of the Church of Scotland, and is thus the Church's governing body.''An Introduction to Practice and Procedure in the Church of Scotland'' by A. Gordon McGillivray, ...
. It is home to national cultural institutions such as the
National Museum of Scotland The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history, and the adjacent Royal Scottish Museum (opene ...
, the
National Library of Scotland The National Library of Scotland (NLS) ( gd, Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba, sco, Naitional Leebrar o Scotland) is the legal deposit library of Scotland and is one of the country's National Collections. As one of the largest libraries in t ...
and the
Scottish National Gallery The Scottish National Gallery (formerly the National Gallery of Scotland) is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, close to Princes Street. The building was designed in a neoclassical style by W ...
. The
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals) is a public research university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Granted a royal charter by King James VI in 1 ...
, founded in 1582 and now one of three in the city, is considered one of the best research institutions in the world, most recently placing 15th in the ''
QS World University Rankings ''QS World University Rankings'' is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The QS system comprises three parts: the global overall ranking, the subject rankings (which name the world's top universities for th ...
'' for 2023. The city is also known for the
Edinburgh International Festival The Edinburgh International Festival is an annual arts festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, spread over the final three weeks in August. Notable figures from the international world of music (especially european classical music, classical music) and ...
and the
Fringe Fringe may refer to: Arts * Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, known as "the Fringe" * Adelaide Fringe, the world's second-largest annual arts festival * Fringe theatre, a name for alternative theatre * The Fringe, the ...
, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include
Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle is a historic castle in Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. It stands on Castle Rock (Edinburgh), Castle Rock, which has been occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. ...
, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of
St. Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône most likely in the 6th century. Revered as a saint, his cult became widely diffused but his hagiography is mostly leg ...
,
Greyfriars Greyfriars, Grayfriars or Gray Friars is a term for Franciscan Order of Friars Minor, in particular, the Conventual Franciscans. The term often refers to buildings or districts formerly associated with the order. Former Friaries * Greyfriars, Bed ...
and the
Canongate The Canongate is a street and associated district in central Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. The street forms the main eastern length of the Royal Mile while the district is the main eastern section of Old Town, Edinburgh, Edinburgh's ...
, and the extensive Georgian New Town built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's
Old Town In a city or town, the old town is its historic or original core. Although the city is usually larger in its present form, many cities have redesignated this part of the city to commemorate its origins after thorough renovations. There are ma ...
and
New Town New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Albums and EPs * ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartney, 2013 * ''New'' (EP), by Regurgitator ...
together are listed as a
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) aimed at promoting world peace and security through international coope ...
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ...
, which has been managed by
Edinburgh World Heritage Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) is an independent charity in Edinburgh, Scotland established in 1999. It is tasked with conserving, enhancing and promoting Edinburgh's World Heritage Site "Old and New Towns of Edinburgh", which was designated i ...
since 1999.


Etymology

"Edin", the root of the city's name, derives from ', the name for this region in
Cumbric Cumbric was a variety of the Common Brittonic language spoken during the Early Middle Ages in the '' Hen Ogledd'' or "Old North" in what is now the counties of Westmorland, Cumberland and northern Lancashire in Northern England and the south ...
, the
Brittonic Brittonic or Brythonic may refer to: *Common Brittonic, or Brythonic, the Celtic language anciently spoken in Great Britain *Brittonic languages, a branch of the Celtic languages descended from Common Brittonic *Britons (Celtic people) The Br ...
Celtic Celtic, Celtics or Keltic may refer to: Language and ethnicity *pertaining to Celts, a collection of Indo-European peoples in Europe and Anatolia **Celts (modern) *Celtic languages **Proto-Celtic language *Celtic music *Celtic nations Sports Foo ...
language formerly spoken there. The name's meaning is unknown. The district of Eidyn is centred on the stronghold Din Eidyn, the dun or
hillfort A hillfort is a type of earthwork used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze Age or Iron Age. Some were used in the post-Roma ...
of Eidyn. This stronghold is believed to have been located at Castle Rock, now the site of
Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh Castle is a historic castle in Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. It stands on Castle Rock (Edinburgh), Castle Rock, which has been occupied by humans since at least the Iron Age, although the nature of the early settlement is unclear. ...
. Eidyn was conquered by the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli) were one of the main Germanic peoples who settled in Great Britain in the post-Roman period. They founded several kingdoms of the Heptarchy in Anglo-Saxon England. Their name is the root of the name ...
of
Bernicia Bernicia ( ang, Bernice, Bryneich, Beornice; la, Bernicia) was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by Anglian settlers of the 6th century in what is now southeastern Scotland and North East England. The Anglian territory of Bernicia was ap ...
in the 7th century and later occupied by the Scots in the 10th century. As the language shifted to
Northumbrian Old English Northumbrian was a dialect of Old English spoken in the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria. Together with Mercian, Kentish and West Saxon, it forms one of the sub-categories of Old English devised and employed by modern scholars. The dialect w ...
, which evolved into Scots, the Brittonic ''din'' in Din Eidyn was replaced by ''
burh A burh () or burg was an Old English fortification or fortified settlement. In the 9th century, raids and invasions by Vikings prompted Alfred the Great to develop a network of burhs and roads to use against such attackers. Some were new const ...
'', producing ''Edinburgh''. Similarly, ''din'' became ''dùn'' in
Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig ), also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family) native to the Gaels of Scotland. As a Goidelic language, Scottish Gaelic, as well as ...
, producing ''Dùn Èideann''.


Nicknames

The city is affectionately nicknamed ''Auld Reekie'', Scots for ''Old Smoky'', for the views from the country of the smoke-covered Old Town. A remark on a poem in an 1800 collection of the poems of Allan Ramsay said, "Auld Reeky. A name the country people give Edinburgh from the cloud of smoke or reek that is always impending over it."
Thomas Carlyle Thomas Carlyle (4 December 17955 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, historian and philosopher. A leading writer of the Victorian era, he exerted a profound influence on 19th-century art, literature and philosophy. Born in Ecclefechan, ...
said, "Smoke cloud hangs over old Edinburgh,—for, ever since Aeneas Silvius's time and earlier, the people have the art, very strange to Aeneas, of burning a certain sort of black stones, and Edinburgh with its chimneys is called 'Auld Reekie' by the country people." A character in
Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature, notably the novels '' Ivanhoe'', '' Rob Roy ...
's '' The Abbot'' says, "... yonder stands Auld Reekie—you may see the smoke hover over her at twenty miles' distance." Robert Chambers, who said that the sobriquet could not be traced before the reign of Charles II, attributed the name to a
Fife Fife (, ; gd, Fìobha, ; sco, Fife) is a council area, historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries with Perth and Kinross ...
laird, Durham of Largo, who regulated the bedtime of his children by the smoke rising above Edinburgh from the fires of the tenements. "It's time now bairns, to tak' the beuks, and gang to our beds, for yonder's Auld Reekie, I see, putting on her nicht -cap!" Edinburgh has been popularly called the ''Athens of the North'' since the early 19th century. References to Athens, such as ''Athens of Britain'' and ''Modern Athens'', had been made as early as the 1760s. The similarities were seen to be topographical but also intellectual. Edinburgh's Castle Rock reminded returning grand tourists of the
Athenian Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is both the capital and largest city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is also the seventh largest city in the European Union. Athens dominates a ...
Acropolis An acropolis was the settlement of an upper part of an ancient Greek city, especially a citadel, and frequently a hill with precipitous sides, mainly chosen for purposes of defense. The term is typically used to refer to the Acropolis of Athens, ...
, as did aspects of the
neoclassical architecture Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the Neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century in Italy and France. It became one of the most prominent architectural styles in the Western world. The prevailing sty ...
and layout of
New Town New is an adjective referring to something recently made, discovered, or created. New or NEW may refer to: Music * New, singer of K-pop group The Boyz Albums and EPs * ''New'' (album), by Paul McCartney, 2013 * ''New'' (EP), by Regurgitator ...
. Both cities had flatter, fertile agricultural land sloping down to a
port A port is a maritime facility comprising one or more wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can also be found far inland, such as H ...
several miles away (respectively,
Leith Leith (; gd, Lìte) is a port area in the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith. In 2021, it was ranked by ''Time Out'' as one of the top five neighbourhoods to live in the world. The earliest ...
and
Piraeus Piraeus ( ; el, Πειραιάς ; grc, Πειραιεύς ) is a port city within the Athens urban area ("Greater Athens"), in the Attica region of Greece. It is located southwest of Athens' city centre, along the east coast of the Saro ...
). Intellectually, the
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century ...
, with its
humanist Humanism is a philosophical stance that emphasizes the individual and social potential and agency of human beings. It considers human beings the starting point for serious moral and philosophical inquiry. The meaning of the term "human ...
and rationalist outlook, was influenced by
Ancient Greek philosophy Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC, marking the end of the Greek Dark Ages. Greek philosophy continued throughout the Hellenistic period and the period in which Greece and most Greek-inhabited lands were part of the Roman Empire ...
. In 1822, artist
Hugh William Williams Hugh William Williams FRSE (1773–1829), known as "Grecian Williams," was a Scottish landscape painter. Life Williams was born onboard the ship of his father, Captain Williams, whilst en route to the West Indies. His mother, "Miss Lewis", die ...
organized an exhibition that showed his paintings of Athens alongside views of Edinburgh, and the idea of a direct parallel between both cities quickly caught the popular imagination. When plans were drawn up in the early 19th century to architecturally develop
Calton Hill Calton Hill () is a hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, situated beyond the east end of Princes Street and included in the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site. Views of, and from, the hill are often used in photographs and paintings of the cit ...
, the design of the
National Monument A national monument is a monument constructed in order to commemorate something of importance to national heritage, such as a country's founding, independence, war, or the life and death of a historical figure. The term may also refer to a spe ...
directly copied Athens'
Parthenon The Parthenon (; grc, Παρθενών, , ; ell, Παρθενώνας, , ) is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, that was dedicated to the goddess Athena during the fifth century BC. Its decorative sculptures are considere ...
.
Tom Stoppard Sir Tom Stoppard (born , 3 July 1937) is a Czech born British playwright and screenwriter. He has written for film, radio, stage, and television, finding prominence with plays. His work covers the themes of human rights, censorship, and polit ...
's character Archie of '' Jumpers'' said, perhaps playing on
Reykjavík Reykjavík ( ; ) is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói bay. Its latitude is 64°08' N, making it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. With a po ...
meaning "smoky bay", that the "Reykjavík of the South" would be more appropriate. The city has also been known by several Latin names, such as ''Edinburgum,'' while the adjectival forms ''Edinburgensis'' and ''Edinensis'' are used in educational and scientific contexts. ''Edina'' is a late 18th-century poetical form used by the Scots poets
Robert Fergusson Robert Fergusson (5 September 1750 – 16 October 1774) was a Scottish poet. After formal education at the University of St Andrews, Fergusson led a bohemian life in Edinburgh, the city of his birth, then at the height of intellectual and c ...
and
Robert Burns Robert Burns (25 January 175921 July 1796), also known familiarly as Rabbie Burns, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who hav ...
. "Embra" or "Embro" are colloquialisms from the same time, as in
Robert Garioch Robert Garioch Sutherland (9 May 1909 – 26 April 1981) was a Scottish poet and translator. His poetry was written almost exclusively in the Scots language, he was a key member in the literary revival of the language in the mid-20th century. ...
's ''Embro to the Ploy''.
Ben Jonson Benjamin "Ben" Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours; he is best known for t ...
described it as "Britaine's other eye", and Sir Walter Scott referred to it as "yon Empress of the North". Robert Louis Stevenson, also a son of the city, wrote that Edinburgh "is what Paris ought to be."


History


Early history

The earliest known human habitation in the Edinburgh area was at
Cramond Cramond Village (; gd, Cathair Amain) is a village and suburb in the north-west of Edinburgh, Scotland, at the mouth of the River Almond where it enters the Firth of Forth. The Cramond area has evidence of Mesolithic, Bronze Age and Roman ac ...
, where evidence was found of a
Mesolithic The Mesolithic ( Greek: μέσος, ''mesos'' 'middle' + λίθος, ''lithos'' 'stone') or Middle Stone Age is the Old World archaeological period between the Upper Paleolithic and the Neolithic. The term Epipaleolithic is often used synonymo ...
camp site dated to c. 8500 BC. Traces of later
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a historic period, lasting approximately from 3300 BC to 1200 BC, characterized by the use of bronze, the presence of writing in some areas, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second pri ...
and
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory and protohistory of humanity. It was preceded by the Stone Age ( Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic) and the Bronze Age ( Chalcolithic). The concept has been mostly ...
settlements have been found on Castle Rock,
Arthur's Seat Arthur's Seat ( gd, Suidhe Artair, ) is an ancient volcano which is the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh, Scotland, which form most of Holyrood Park, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as "a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtu ...
,
Craiglockhart Hill Craiglockhart Hill is a combination of two summits, Easter and Wester Craiglockhart, in the suburb of Craiglockhart, Edinburgh.https://edinburghgeolsoc.org/downloads/rigsleaflet_craiglockharta4.pdf Craiglockart and Edinburgh's Seven Hills East ...
and the
Pentland Hills The Pentland Hills are a range of hills southwest of Edinburgh, Scotland. The range is around in length, and runs southwest from Edinburgh towards Biggar and the upper Clydesdale. Etymology The name is first recorded for the farm of Pentla ...
. When the
Romans Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy * Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to the Romans'', shortened to ''Romans'', a lette ...
arrived in Lothian at the end of the 1st century AD, they found a
Brittonic Brittonic or Brythonic may refer to: *Common Brittonic, or Brythonic, the Celtic language anciently spoken in Great Britain *Brittonic languages, a branch of the Celtic languages descended from Common Brittonic *Britons (Celtic people) The Br ...
Celtic tribe whose name they recorded as the
Votadini The Votadini, also known as the ''Uotadini'', ''Wotādīni'', ''Votādīni'', or ''Otadini'' were a Celtic Britons, Brittonic people of the British Iron Age, Iron Age in Great Britain. Their territory was in what is now south-east Scotland and ...
. The Votadini transitioned into the
Gododdin The Gododdin () were a Brittonic people of north-eastern Britannia, the area known as the Hen Ogledd or Old North (modern south-east Scotland and north-east England), in the sub-Roman period. Descendants of the Votadini, they are best known ...
kingdom in the
Early Middle Ages The Early Middle Ages (or early medieval period), sometimes controversially referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Mi ...
, with Eidyn serving as one of the kingdom's districts. During this period, the Castle Rock site, thought to have been the stronghold of Din Eidyn, emerged as the kingdom's major centre. The medieval poem ''
Y Gododdin ''Y Gododdin'' () is a medieval Welsh poem consisting of a series of elegies to the men of the Brittonic kingdom of Gododdin and its allies who, according to the conventional interpretation, died fighting the Angles of Deira and Bernicia a ...
'' describes a war band from across the Brittonic world who gathered in Eidyn before a fateful raid; this may describe a historical event around AD 600. In 638, the Gododdin stronghold was besieged by forces loyal to King Oswald of
Northumbria la, Regnum Northanhymbrorum , conventional_long_name = Kingdom of Northumbria , common_name = Northumbria , status = State , status_text = Unified Anglian kingdom (before 876)North: Anglian kingdom (af ...
, and around this time control of Lothian passed to the
Angles The Angles ( ang, Ængle, ; la, Angli) were one of the main Germanic peoples who settled in Great Britain in the post-Roman period. They founded several kingdoms of the Heptarchy in Anglo-Saxon England. Their name is the root of the name ...
. Their influence continued for the next three centuries until around 950, when, during the reign of
Indulf Ildulb mac Causantín, anglicised as Indulf or Indulph, nicknamed An Ionsaighthigh, "the Aggressor" (died 962) was king of Alba from 954 to 962. He was the son of Constantine II; his mother may have been a daughter of Earl Eadulf I of Bernicia, ...
, son of Constantine II, the "burh" (fortress), named in the 10th-century ''
Pictish Chronicle The Pictish Chronicle is a name used to refer to a pseudo-historical account of the kings of the Picts beginning many thousand years before history was recorded in Pictavia and ending after Pictavia had been enveloped by Scotland. Version A Ther ...
'' as ''oppidum Eden'', was abandoned to the Scots. It thenceforth remained, for the most part, under their jurisdiction. The
royal burgh A royal burgh () was a type of Scottish burgh which had been founded by, or subsequently granted, a royal charter. Although abolished by law in 1975, the term is still used by many former royal burghs. Most royal burghs were either created by ...
was founded by
King David I David I or Dauíd mac Maíl Choluim (Modern: ''Daibhidh I mac haoilChaluim''; – 24 May 1153) was a 12th-century ruler who was Prince of the Cumbrians from 1113 to 1124 and later King of Scotland from 1124 to 1153. The youngest son of Malcol ...
in the early 12th century on land belonging to the Crown, though the date of its charter is unknown. The first documentary evidence of the medieval
burgh A burgh is an autonomous municipal corporation in Scotland and Northern England, usually a city, town, or toun in Scots. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Bur ...
is a
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the English Magna Carta (great charter) of 1215, b ...
, , by King David I granting a toft in to the Priory of Dunfermline. Edinburgh was largely in English hands from 1291 to 1314 and from 1333 to 1341, during the
Wars of Scottish Independence The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. The First War (1296–1328) began with the English invasion of ...
. When the English invaded Scotland in 1298,
King Edward I Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1272 to 1307. Concurrently, he ruled the duchies of Aquitaine and Gascony as a vassal o ...
chose not to enter the English controlled town of Edinburgh but passed by with his army. In the middle of the 14th century, the French chronicler
Jean Froissart Jean Froissart (Old and Middle French: ''Jehan'', – ) (also John Froissart) was a French-speaking medieval author and court historian from the Low Countries who wrote several works, including ''Chronicles'' and ''Meliador'', a long Arthurian ...
described it as the capital of Scotland (c. 1365), and James III (1451–88) referred to it in the 15th century as "the principal burgh of our kingdom". Despite the destruction caused by an English assault in 1544, the town slowly recovered, and was at the centre of events in the 16th-century
Scottish Reformation The Scottish Reformation was the process by which Kingdom of Scotland, Scotland broke with the Pope, Papacy and developed a predominantly Calvinist national Church of Scotland, Kirk (church), which was strongly Presbyterianism, Presbyterian in ...
and 17th-century Wars of the Covenant. In 1582, Edinburgh's town council was given a
royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative as letters patent. Historically, they have been used to promulgate public laws, the most famous example being the English Magna Carta (great charter) of 1215, b ...
by King
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguat ...
permitting the establishment of a university; founded as ''Tounis College'' (Town's College), the institution developed into the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals) is a public research university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Granted a royal charter by King James VI in 1 ...
, which contributed to Edinburgh's central intellectual role in subsequent centuries.


17th century

In 1603, King
James VI James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguat ...
of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the crowns of Scotland and England in a
personal union A personal union is the combination of two or more states that have the same monarch while their boundaries, laws, and interests remain distinct. A real union, by contrast, would involve the constituent states being to some extent interli ...
known as the
Union of the Crowns The Union of the Crowns ( gd, Aonadh nan Crùintean; sco, Union o the Crouns) was the accession of James VI of Scotland to the throne of the Kingdom of England as James I and the practical unification of some functions (such as overseas dip ...
, though Scotland remained, in all other respects, a separate kingdom. In 1638, King Charles I's attempt to introduce
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation, in the context of the Protestant Reformation in Europe. It is one of t ...
church forms in Scotland encountered stiff
Presbyterian Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their n ...
opposition culminating in the conflicts of the
Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms were a series of related conflicts fought between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, then separate entities united in a personal union under Charles I. They include the 1639 to 1640 Bi ...
. Subsequent Scottish support for Charles Stuart's restoration to the throne of England resulted in Edinburgh's occupation by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three ...
's
Commonwealth of England The Commonwealth was the political structure during the period from 1649 to 1660 when England and Wales, later along with Ireland and Scotland, were governed as a republic after the end of the Second English Civil War and the trial and execu ...
forces – the
New Model Army The New Model Army was a standing army formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians during the First English Civil War, then disbanded after the Stuart Restoration in 1660. It differed from other armies employed in the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Th ...
– in 1650. In the 17th century, Edinburgh's boundaries were still defined by the city's defensive
town walls A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use The word "town" shares an or ...
. As a result, the city's growing population was accommodated by increasing the height of the houses. Buildings of 11 storeys or more were common, and have been described as forerunners of the modern-day skyscraper. Most of these old structures were replaced by the predominantly Victorian buildings seen in today's Old Town. In 1611 an act of parliament created the
High Constables of Edinburgh The High Constables of Edinburgh are a prestigious body of constables, founded in 1611 and located in Edinburgh, Scotland. Historically, the High Constables were charged with policing the streets of Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, howev ...
to keep order in the city, thought to be the oldest statutory police force in the world.


18th century

Following the
Treaty of Union The Treaty of Union is the name usually now given to the treaty which led to the creation of the new state of Great Britain, stating that the Kingdom of England (which already included Wales) and the Kingdom of Scotland were to be "United i ...
in 1706, the Parliaments of England and Scotland passed Acts of Union in 1706 and 1707 respectively, uniting the two kingdoms in the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain (officially Great Britain) was a sovereign country in Western Europe from 1 May 1707 to the end of 31 December 1800. The state was created by the 1706 Treaty of Union and ratified by the Acts of Union 1707, wh ...
effective from 1 May 1707. As a consequence, the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council o ...
merged with the
Parliament of England The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the 13th century until 1707 when it was replaced by the Parliament of Great Britain. Parliament evolved from the great council of bishops and peers that advise ...
to form the
Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of Union by both the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The Acts ratified the treaty of Union which created a new unified Kingdo ...
, which sat at
Westminster Westminster is an area of Central London, part of the wider City of Westminster. The area, which extends from the River Thames to Oxford Street, has many visitor attractions and historic landmarks, including the Palace of Westminster, B ...
in London. The Union was opposed by many Scots, resulting in riots in the city. By the first half of the 18th century, Edinburgh was described as one of Europe's most densely populated, overcrowded and unsanitary towns. Visitors were struck by the fact that the social classes shared the same urban space, even inhabiting the same
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access. They are common on the British Isles, particularly in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, i ...
buildings; although here a form of social segregation did prevail, whereby shopkeepers and tradesmen tended to occupy the cheaper-to-rent cellars and garrets, while the more well-to-do professional classes occupied the more expensive middle storeys. During the
Jacobite rising of 1745 The Jacobite rising of 1745, also known as the Forty-five Rebellion or simply the '45 ( gd, Bliadhna Theàrlaich, , ), was an attempt by Charles Edward Stuart to regain the British throne for his father, James Francis Edward Stuart. It took ...
, Edinburgh was briefly occupied by the Jacobite "Highland Army" before its march into England. After its eventual defeat at Culloden, there followed a period of reprisals and pacification, largely directed at the rebellious
clans A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clans may claim descent from founding member or apical ancestor. Clans, in indigenous societies, tend to be endogamous, mea ...
. In Edinburgh, the Town Council, keen to emulate London by initiating city improvements and expansion to the north of the castle, reaffirmed its belief in the Union and loyalty to the Hanoverian monarch
George III George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 173829 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two kingdoms on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Br ...
by its choice of names for the streets of the New Town: for example,
Rose A rose is either a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus ''Rosa'' (), in the family Rosaceae (), or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred species and tens of thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be ...
Street and
Thistle Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae. Prickles can also occur all over the planton the stem and on the flat parts of the leaves ...
Street; and for the royal family, George Street, Queen Street, Hanover Street, Frederick Street and
Princes Street Princes Street ( gd, Sràid nam Prionnsan) is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland and the main shopping street in the capital. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh's New Town, stretching around 1.2 km (thr ...
(in honour of George's two sons). In the second half of the century, the city was at the heart of the
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century ...
, when thinkers like David Hume, Adam Smith,
James Hutton James Hutton (; 3 June O.S.172614 June 1726 New Style. – 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, agriculturalist, chemical manufacturer, naturalist and physician. Often referred to as the father of modern geology, he played a key role ...
and
Joseph Black Joseph Black (16 April 1728 – 6 December 1799) was a Scottish physicist and chemist, known for his discoveries of magnesium, latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. He was Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glas ...
were familiar figures in its streets. Edinburgh became a major intellectual centre, earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many neo-classical buildings and reputation for learning, recalling ancient Athens. In the 18th-century novel ''
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker ''The Expedition of Humphry Clinker'' was the last of the picaresque novels of Tobias Smollett, published in London on 17 June 1771 (three months before Smollett's death), and is considered by many to be his best and funniest work. It is an ...
'' by
Tobias Smollett Tobias George Smollett (baptised 19 March 1721 – 17 September 1771) was a Scottish poet and author. He was best known for picaresque novels such as '' The Adventures of Roderick Random'' (1748), '' The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle'' (1751 ...
one character describes Edinburgh as a "hotbed of genius". Edinburgh was also a major centre for the Scottish book trade. The highly successful London bookseller
Andrew Millar Andrew Millar (17058 June 1768) was a British publisher in the eighteenth century. Biography In 1725, as a twenty-year-old bookseller apprentice, he evaded Edinburgh city printing restrictions by going to Leith to print, which was considered b ...
was apprenticed there to James McEuen. From the 1770s onwards, the professional and business classes gradually deserted the Old Town in favour of the more elegant "one-family" residences of the New Town, a migration that changed the city's social character. According to the foremost historian of this development, "Unity of social feeling was one of the most valuable heritages of old Edinburgh, and its disappearance was widely and properly lamented."


19th and 20th centuries

Despite an enduring myth to the contrary, Edinburgh became an industrial centre with its traditional industries of printing, brewing and distilling continuing to grow in the 19th century and joined by new industries such as rubber works, engineering works and others. By 1821, Edinburgh had been overtaken by
Glasgow Glasgow ( ; sco, Glesca or ; gd, Glaschu ) is the most populous city in Scotland and the fourth-most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as being the 27th largest city by population in Europe. In 2020, it had an estimated popu ...
as Scotland's largest city. The city centre between Princes Street and George Street became a major commercial and shopping district, a development partly stimulated by the arrival of railways in the 1840s. The Old Town became an increasingly dilapidated, overcrowded slum with high mortality rates. Improvements carried out under Lord Provost William Chambers in the 1860s began the transformation of the area into the predominantly Victorian Old Town seen today. More improvements followed in the early 20th century as a result of the work of
Patrick Geddes Sir Patrick Geddes (2 October 1854 – 17 April 1932) was a British biologist, sociologist, Comtean positivist, geographer, philanthropist and pioneering town planner. He is known for his innovative thinking in the fields of urban planning ...
, but relative economic stagnation during the two world wars and beyond saw the Old Town deteriorate further before major
slum clearance Slum clearance, slum eviction or slum removal is an urban renewal strategy used to transform low income settlements with poor reputation into another type of development or housing. This has long been a strategy for redeveloping urban communities; ...
in the 1960s and 1970s began to reverse the process. University building developments which transformed the
George Square George Square ( gd, Ceàrnag Sheòrais) is the principal civic square in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is one of six squares in the city centre, the others being Cathedral Square, St Andrew's Square, St Enoch Square, Royal Exchange ...
and Potterrow areas proved highly controversial. Since the 1990s a new "financial district", including the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, has grown mainly on demolished railway property to the west of the castle, stretching into
Fountainbridge Fountainbridge ( gd, Drochaid an Fhuarain) is an area of Edinburgh, Scotland, a short distance west of the city centre, adjoining Tollcross with East Fountainbridge and West Port to the east, Polwarth to the west and south, Dalry and Haymar ...
, a run-down 19th-century industrial suburb which has undergone radical change since the 1980s with the demise of industrial and brewery premises. This ongoing development has enabled Edinburgh to maintain its place as the United Kingdom's second largest financial and administrative centre after London. Financial services now account for a third of all commercial office space in the city. The development of Edinburgh Park, a new business and technology park covering , west of the city centre, has also contributed to the District Council's strategy for the city's major economic regeneration. In 1998, the Scotland Act, which came into force the following year, established a
devolved Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. It is a form of administrative decentralization. Devolved territories ...
Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive (renamed the Scottish Government since September 2007). Both based in Edinburgh, they are responsible for governing Scotland while reserved matters such as defence, foreign affairs and some elements of income tax remain the responsibility of the
Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories. It meets at the Palace of Westminster, London. It alone possesses legislative suprem ...
in London.


21st century

In 2022, Edinburgh was affected by the
2022 Scotland bin strikes The 2022 Scotland bin strike was a labour strike by bin workers across Scotland. The workers, represented by the GMB were striking for a pay rise to match that being given to local government workers in the rest of the UK. The strikes began in ...
.


Geography


Cityscape

Situated in Scotland's
Central Belt The Central Belt of Scotland is the area of highest population density within Scotland. Depending on the definition used, it has a population of between 2.4 and 4.2 million (the country's total was around 5.4 million in 2019), including Gre ...
, Edinburgh lies on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. The city centre is southwest of the shoreline of
Leith Leith (; gd, Lìte) is a port area in the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith. In 2021, it was ranked by ''Time Out'' as one of the top five neighbourhoods to live in the world. The earliest ...
and inland, as the crow flies, from the east coast of Scotland and the
North Sea The North Sea lies between Great Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. An epeiric sea on the European continental shelf, it connects to the Atlantic Ocean through the English Channel in the south and the Norwegian ...
at
Dunbar Dunbar () is a town on the North Sea coast in East Lothian in the south-east of Scotland, approximately east of Edinburgh and from the English border north of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Dunbar is a former royal burgh, and gave its name to an ...
. While the early burgh grew up near the prominent Castle Rock, the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills, namely
Calton Hill Calton Hill () is a hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, situated beyond the east end of Princes Street and included in the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site. Views of, and from, the hill are often used in photographs and paintings of the cit ...
,
Corstorphine Hill Corstorphine Hill is a low ridge-shaped hill rising above the western suburbs of Edinburgh, Scotland. Although there has been residential and commercial development on its lower slopes, especially in the south and west, most of the hill is occu ...
, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill,
Blackford Hill Blackford Hill is a hill in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It is in the area of Blackford, between Morningside, and the Braid Hills. Together with the Hermitage of Braid, it comprises the Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill L ...
, Arthur's Seat and the Castle Rock, giving rise to allusions to the
seven hills of Rome The seven hills of Rome ( la, Septem colles/montes Romae, it, Sette colli di Roma ) east of the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the city. Hills The seven hills are: * Aventine Hill (Latin: ''Collis Aventi ...
. Occupying a narrow gap between the Firth of Forth to the north and the
Pentland Hills The Pentland Hills are a range of hills southwest of Edinburgh, Scotland. The range is around in length, and runs southwest from Edinburgh towards Biggar and the upper Clydesdale. Etymology The name is first recorded for the farm of Pentla ...
and their outrunners to the south, the city sprawls over a landscape which is the product of early volcanic activity and later periods of intensive glaciation. Igneous activity between 350 and 400 million years ago, coupled with
faulting In geology, a fault is a planar fracture or discontinuity in a volume of rock across which there has been significant displacement as a result of rock-mass movements. Large faults within Earth's crust result from the action of plate tectonic ...
, led to the creation of tough
basalt Basalt (; ) is an aphanitic (fine-grained) extrusive igneous rock formed from the rapid cooling of low-viscosity lava rich in magnesium and iron (mafic lava) exposed at or very near the surface of a rocky planet or moon. More than 90 ...
volcanic plug A volcanic plug, also called a volcanic neck or lava neck, is a volcanic object created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano. When present, a plug can cause an extreme build-up of high gas pressure if rising volatile-charged ma ...
s, which predominate over much of the area. One such example is the Castle Rock which forced the advancing ice sheet to divide, sheltering the softer rock and forming a tail of material to the east, thus creating a distinctive
crag and tail A crag (sometimes spelled cragg, or in Scotland craig) is a rocky hill or mountain, generally isolated from other high ground. Origin Crags are formed when a glacier or ice sheet passes over an area that contains a particularly resistant ...
formation. Glacial erosion on the north side of the crag gouged a deep valley later filled by the now drained Nor Loch. These features, along with another hollow on the rock's south side, formed an ideal natural strongpoint upon which Edinburgh Castle was built. Similarly, Arthur's Seat is the remains of a volcano dating from the
Carboniferous period The Carboniferous ( ) is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic that spans 60 million years from the end of the Devonian Period million years ago ( Mya), to the beginning of the Permian Period, million years ago. The name ''Carbonif ...
, which was eroded by a glacier moving west to east during the ice age. Erosive action such as plucking and abrasion exposed the rocky crags to the west before leaving a tail of deposited glacial material swept to the east. This process formed the distinctive Salisbury Crags, a series of teschenite cliffs between Arthur's Seat and the location of the early burgh. The residential areas of Marchmont and
Bruntsfield Bruntsfield is a largely residential area around Bruntsfield Place in Southern Edinburgh, Scotland. In feudal times, it fell within the barony of Colinton. Location Bruntsfield Place is less than south on the A702 main road from the West e ...
are built along a series of
drumlin A drumlin, from the Irish word ''droimnín'' ("littlest ridge"), first recorded in 1833, in the classical sense is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated ...
ridges south of the city centre, which were deposited as the glacier receded. Other prominent landforms such as Calton Hill and Corstorphine Hill are also products of glacial erosion. The Braid Hills and Blackford Hill are a series of small summits to the south of the city centre that command expansive views looking northwards over the urban area to the Firth of Forth. Edinburgh is drained by the river named the Water of Leith, which rises at the Colzium Springs in the Pentland Hills and runs for through the south and west of the city, emptying into the Firth of Forth at Leith. The nearest the river gets to the city centre is at
Dean Village Dean Village (from ''dene'', meaning 'deep valley') is a former village immediately northwest of the city centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is bounded by Belford Road to the south and west, Belgrave Crescent Gardens to the north and below the ...
on the north-western edge of the New Town, where a deep gorge is spanned by
Thomas Telford Thomas Telford FRS, FRSE, (9 August 1757 – 2 September 1834) was a Scottish civil engineer. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed numerous infrastructure projects in his native Scot ...
's
Dean Bridge The Dean Bridge spans the Water of Leith in the city of Edinburgh on the A90 road to Queensferry on the Firth of Forth. It carries the roadway, long and broad, on four arches rising above the river.H Coghill, ''Discovering The Water of L ...
, built in 1832 for the road to Queensferry. The
Water of Leith Walkway {{coord, 55, 53, 9.73, N, 3, 20, 23.31, W, display=title The Water of Leith Walkway is a public footpath and cycleway that runs alongside the small river of the same name through Edinburgh, Scotland, from Balerno to Leith. The concept of a p ...
is a mixed-use
trail A trail, also known as a path or track, is an unpaved lane or small road usually passing through a natural area. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, a path or footpath is the preferred term for a pedestrian or hiking trail. ...
that follows the course of the river for from Balerno to Leith. Excepting the shoreline of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh is encircled by a
green belt A green belt is a policy and land-use zone designation used in land-use planning to retain areas of largely undeveloped, wild, or agricultural land surrounding or neighboring urban areas. Similar concepts are greenways or green wedges, which h ...
, designated in 1957, which stretches from
Dalmeny Dalmeny ( gd, Dùn Mheinidh, IPA: �t̪uːnˈvenɪʝ is a village and civil parish in Scotland. It is located on the south side of the Firth of Forth, southeast of South Queensferry and west of Edinburgh city centre. It lies within the tradit ...
in the west to Prestongrange in the east. With an average width of the principal objectives of the green belt were to contain the outward expansion of the city and to prevent the agglomeration of urban areas. Expansion affecting the green belt is strictly controlled but developments such as
Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh Airport is an airport located in the Ingliston area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2019, handling over 14.7 million passengers. It was also the sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom by ...
and the Royal Highland Showground at
Ingliston Ingliston (; sco, Inglistoun) is an area in the west of Edinburgh, near Maybury, South Gyle and Newbridge, and is home to Edinburgh Airport and The Royal Highland Showground. History The name Ingliston either means the "settlement of the In ...
lie within the zone. Similarly, suburbs such as
Juniper Green Juniper Green is a village on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland, situated about south-west of the city centre. It bridges the city bypass, and extends along the foothills of the Pentlands. It is bordered by Colinton to the east, Baberton ...
and Balerno are situated on green belt land. One feature of the Edinburgh green belt is the inclusion of parcels of land within the city which are designated green belt, even though they do not connect with the peripheral ring. Examples of these independent wedges of green belt include
Holyrood Park Holyrood Park (also called the Queen's Park or King's Park depending on the reigning monarch's gender) is a royal park in central Edinburgh, Scotland about to the east of Edinburgh Castle. It is open to the public. It has an array of hills, loc ...
and Corstorphine Hill.


Areas

Edinburgh includes former towns and villages that retain much of their original character as settlements in existence before they were absorbed into the expanding city of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Many areas, such as Dalry, contain residences that are multi-occupancy buildings known as
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access. They are common on the British Isles, particularly in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, i ...
s, although the more southern and western parts of the city have traditionally been less built-up with a greater number of detached and semi-detached villas. The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided in two by the broad green swathe of
Princes Street Gardens Princes Street Gardens are two adjacent public parks in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland, lying in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. The Gardens were created in the 1820s following the long draining of the Nor Loch and building of the New Town, ...
. To the south, the view is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, built high on Castle Rock, and the long sweep of the Old Town descending towards Holyrood Palace. To the north lie Princes Street and the New Town. The West End includes the financial district, with insurance and banking offices as well as the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Edinburgh's Old and New Towns were listed as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ...
in 1995 in recognition of the unique character of the Old Town with its medieval street layout and the planned Georgian New Town, including the adjoining Dean Village and Calton Hill areas. There are over 4,500
listed buildings In the United Kingdom, a listed building or listed structure is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, in Wales, and the Northern Irel ...
within the city, a higher proportion relative to area than any other city in the United Kingdom. The castle is perched on top of a rocky crag (the remnant of an extinct volcano) and the
Royal Mile The Royal Mile () is a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. The term was first used descriptively in W. M. Gilbert's ''Edinburgh in the Nineteenth Century'' (1901), de ...
runs down the crest of a ridge from it terminating at Holyrood Palace. Minor streets (called closes or wynds) lie on either side of the main spine forming a herringbone pattern. Due to space restrictions imposed by the narrowness of this landform, the Old Town became home to some of the earliest "high rise" residential buildings. Multi-storey dwellings known as ''lands'' were the norm from the 16th century onwards with ten and eleven storeys being typical and one even reaching fourteen or fifteen storeys. Numerous vaults below street level were inhabited to accommodate the influx of incomers, particularly
Irish immigrants The Irish diaspora ( ga, Diaspóra na nGael) refers to ethnic Irish people and their descendants who live outside the island of Ireland. The phenomenon of migration from Ireland is recorded since the Early Middle Ages,Flechner and Meeder, The ...
, during the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going f ...
. The street has several fine public buildings such as St Giles' Cathedral, the City Chambers and the
Law Courts A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance ...
. Other places of historical interest nearby are
Greyfriars Kirkyard Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located at the southern edge of the Old Town, adjacent to George Heriot's School. Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century, and a num ...
and Mary King's Close. The
Grassmarket The Grassmarket is a historic market place, street and event space in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland. In relation to the rest of the city it lies in a hollow, well below surrounding ground levels. Location The Grassmarket is located direct ...
, running deep below the castle is connected by the steep double terraced Victoria Street. The street layout is typical of the old quarters of many Northern European cities. The New Town was an 18th-century solution to the problem of an increasingly crowded city which had been confined to the ridge sloping down from the castle. In 1766 a competition to design a "New Town" was won by James Craig, a 27-year-old architect. The plan was a rigid, ordered grid, which fitted in well with Enlightenment ideas of rationality. The principal street was to be George Street, running along the natural ridge to the north of what became known as the "Old Town". To either side of it are two other main streets: Princes Street and Queen Street. Princes Street has become Edinburgh's main shopping street and now has few of its Georgian buildings in their original state. The three main streets are connected by a series of streets running perpendicular to them. The east and west ends of George Street are terminated by
St Andrew Square St Andrew Square is a garden square in Edinburgh, Scotland located at the east end of George Street. The gardens, part of the collection of New Town Gardens, are owned by a number of private owners, managed by Essential Edinburgh and opened to ...
and
Charlotte Square 300px, Robert Adam's palace-fronted north side Charlotte Square is a garden square in Edinburgh, Scotland, part of the New Town, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The square is located at the west end of George Street and was in ...
respectively. The latter, designed by
Robert Adam Robert Adam (3 July 17283 March 1792) was a British neoclassical architect, interior designer and furniture designer. He was the son of William Adam (1689–1748), Scotland's foremost architect of the time, and trained under him. With his ...
, influenced the architectural style of the New Town into the early 19th century.
Bute House Bute House (Gaelic: ''Taigh Bhòid'') is the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland located within Charlotte Square in Edinburgh. Alongside two other personal offices at the Scottish Parliament Building and St. Andrew's House, ...
, the official residence of the
First Minister of Scotland The first minister of Scotland ( sco, heid meinister o Scotland; gd, prìomh mhinistear na h-Alba ) is the head of the Scottish Government and keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland. The first minister chair ...
, is on the north side of Charlotte Square. The hollow between the Old and New Towns was formerly the Nor Loch, which was created for the town's defence but came to be used by the inhabitants for dumping their
sewage Sewage (or domestic sewage, domestic wastewater, municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is typically transported through a sewer system. Sewage consists of wastewater discharged from reside ...
. It was drained by the 1820s as part of the city's northward expansion. Craig's original plan included an ornamental canal on the site of the loch, but this idea was abandoned. Soil excavated while laying the foundations of buildings in the New Town was dumped on the site of the
loch ''Loch'' () is the Scottish Gaelic, Scots and Irish word for a lake or sea inlet. It is cognate with the Manx lough, Cornish logh, and one of the Welsh words for lake, llwch. In English English and Hiberno-English, the anglicised spell ...
to create the slope connecting the Old and New Towns known as
The Mound The Mound is an artificial slope in central Edinburgh, Scotland, which connects Edinburgh's New and Old Towns. It was formed by dumping around 1,501,000 cartloads of earth excavated from the foundations of the New Town into Nor Loch which wa ...
. In the middle of the 19th century the
National Gallery of Scotland The Scottish National Gallery (formerly the National Gallery of Scotland) is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, close to Princes Street. The building was designed in a neoclassical style by W ...
and
Royal Scottish Academy Building The Royal Scottish Academy building, the home of the Royal Scottish Academy, is situated on The Mound in the centre of Edinburgh, was built by William Henry Playfair in 1822-6 and extended in 1831-6 for the Board of Manufactures and Fisherie ...
were built on The Mound, and tunnels for the railway line between Haymarket and Waverley stations were driven through it. The Southside is a residential part of the city, which includes the districts of St Leonards, Marchmont, Morningside, Newington,
Sciennes Sciennes (pronounced , ) is a district of Edinburgh, Scotland, situated approximately south of the city centre. It is a mainly residential district, although it is also well-known as the site of the former Royal Hospital for Sick Children. M ...
, the Grange and
Blackford Blackford might refer to: People with the surname *Charles Minor Blackford (1833–1903), an American lawyer *Hosea Blackford, a fictional character in books by Harry Turtledove *Ian Blackford, a Scottish politician *Isaac Blackford (1786–1859), ...
. The Southside is broadly analogous to the area covered formerly by the
Burgh Muir The Burgh Muir is the historic term for an extensive area of land lying to the south of Edinburgh city centre, upon which much of the southern part of the city now stands following its gradual spread and more especially its rapid expansion in t ...
, and was developed as a residential area after the opening of the South Bridge in the 1780s. The Southside is particularly popular with families (many state and private schools are here), young professionals and students (the central University of Edinburgh campus is based around
George Square George Square ( gd, Ceàrnag Sheòrais) is the principal civic square in the city of Glasgow, Scotland. It is one of six squares in the city centre, the others being Cathedral Square, St Andrew's Square, St Enoch Square, Royal Exchange ...
just north of Marchmont and the Meadows), and
Napier University , mottoeng = Without knowledge, everything is in vain , established = 1992 – granted University status 1964 – Napier Technical College , type = Public , academic_staff = 802 , administrative_staff = 562 , chancellor = Will Whitehorn , ...
(with major campuses around Merchiston and Morningside). The area is also well provided with hotel and "bed and breakfast" accommodation for visiting festival-goers. These districts often feature in works of fiction. For example, Church Hill in Morningside, was the home of
Muriel Spark Dame Muriel Sarah Spark (née Camberg; 1 February 1918 – 13 April 2006). was a Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist. Life Muriel Camberg was born in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh, the daughter of Bernard Camberg, an ...
's Miss Jean Brodie, and
Ian Rankin Sir Ian James Rankin (born 28 April 1960) is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. Early life Rankin was born in Cardenden, Fife. His father, James, owned a grocery shop, and his mother, Isobel, worked in a sch ...
's
Inspector Rebus The ''Inspector Rebus'' books are a series of detective novels by the Scottish author Sir Ian Rankin. The novels, centred on Detective Inspector John Rebus, are mostly based in and around Edinburgh. They are considered an important contrib ...
lives in Marchmont and works in St Leonards.
Leith Leith (; gd, Lìte) is a port area in the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith. In 2021, it was ranked by ''Time Out'' as one of the top five neighbourhoods to live in the world. The earliest ...
was historically the port of Edinburgh, an arrangement of unknown date that was confirmed by the royal charter Robert the Bruce granted to the city in 1329. The port developed a separate identity from Edinburgh, which to some extent it still retains, and it was a matter of great resentment when the two burghs merged in 1920 into the City of Edinburgh. Even today the parliamentary seat is known as "Edinburgh North and Leith". The loss of traditional industries and commerce (the last shipyard closed in 1983) resulted in economic decline. The Edinburgh Waterfront development has transformed old dockland areas from Leith to Granton into residential areas with shopping and leisure facilities and helped rejuvenate the area. With the redevelopment, Edinburgh has gained the business of cruise liner companies which now provide cruises to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. The coastal suburb of Portobello is characterised by Georgian villas, Victorian tenements, a beach and
promenade An esplanade or promenade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The historical definition of ''esplanade'' was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide cl ...
and cafés, bars, restaurants and independent shops. There are rowing and sailing clubs and a restored Victorian swimming pool, including
Turkish bath A hammam ( ar, حمّام, translit=ḥammām, tr, hamam) or Turkish bath is a type of steam bath or a place of public bathing associated with the Islamic world. It is a prominent feature in the culture of the Muslim world and was inherited ...
s. The
urban area An urban area, built-up area or urban agglomeration is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as cities ...
of Edinburgh is almost entirely within the
City of Edinburgh Council The City of Edinburgh Council is the local government authority for the city of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland. With a population of in mid-2019, it is the second most populous local authority area in Scotland. In its current form, the counci ...
boundary, merging with
Musselburgh Musselburgh (; sco, Musselburrae; gd, Baile nam Feusgan) is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, east of Edinburgh city centre. It has a population of . History The name Musselburgh is Ol ...
in East Lothian. Towns within easy reach of the city boundary include Haddington,
Tranent Tranent is a town in East Lothian (formerly Haddingtonshire), in the south-east of Scotland. The town lies 6 miles from the boundary of Edinburgh, and 9.1 miles from the city centre. It lies beside the A1 road, the A1 runs through the paris ...
,
Prestonpans Prestonpans ( gd, Baile an t-Sagairt, Scots language, Scots: ''The Pans'') is a small mining town, situated approximately eight miles east of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the Council area of East Lothian. The population as of is. It is near the si ...
,
Dalkeith Dalkeith ( ; gd, Dail Cheith, IPA: �t̪alˈçe is a town in Midlothian, Scotland, on the River Esk. It was granted a burgh of barony in 1401 and a burgh of regality in 1540. The settlement of Dalkeith grew southwestwards from its 12th-cent ...
,
Bonnyrigg Bonnyrigg ( sco, Bonnyrigg) is a town in Midlothian, Scotland, eight miles (13 kilometres) southeast of Edinburgh city centre. The town had a population of 14,663 in the 2001 census which rose to 15,677 in the 2011 census, both figures based o ...
,
Loanhead Loanhead is a town in Midlothian, Scotland, in a commuter belt to the south of Edinburgh, and close to Roslin, Bonnyrigg and Dalkeith. The town was built on coal and oil shale mining, and the paper industries. History Loanhead was a tiny ...
,
Penicuik Penicuik ( ; sco, Penicuik; gd, Peighinn na Cuthaig) is a town and former Police burgh, burgh in Midlothian, Scotland, lying on the west bank of the River Esk, Lothian, River North Esk. It lies on the A701 road, A701 midway between Edinburgh a ...
,
Broxburn Broxburn ( gd, Srath Bhroc, IPA: �s̪ɾaˈvɾɔʰk is a town in West Lothian, Scotland, on the A89 road, from the West End of Edinburgh, from Edinburgh Airport and to the north of Livingston. Etymology The name Broxburn is a corruption ...
,
Livingston Livingston may refer to: Businesses * Livingston Energy Flight, an Italian airline (2003–2010) * Livingston Compagnia Aerea, an Italian airline (2011–2014), also known as Livingston Airline * Livingston International, a North American customs ...
and
Dunfermline Dunfermline (; sco, Dunfaurlin, gd, Dùn Phàrlain) is a city, parish and former Royal Burgh, in Fife, Scotland, on high ground from the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. The city currently has an estimated population of 58,508. Acco ...
. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh & South East Scotland City region with a population in 2014 of 1,339,380.


Climate

Like most of Scotland, Edinburgh has a cool,
temperate In geography, the temperate climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes (23.5° to 66.5° N/S of Equator), which span between the tropics and the polar regions of Earth. These zones generally have wider temperature ranges throughout ...
,
maritime climate An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen classification ''Cfb'', typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring cool summers and mild winters ...
which, despite its northerly latitude, is milder than places which lie at similar latitudes such as
Moscow Moscow ( , US chiefly ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐskˈva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia. The city stands on the Moskva River in Central Russia, with a population estimated at 13.0 million ...
and
Labrador , nickname = "The Big Land" , etymology = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name = Canada , subdivision_type1 = Province , subdivision_name1 ...
. The city's proximity to the sea mitigates any large variations in temperature or extremes of climate. Winter daytime temperatures rarely fall below freezing while summer temperatures are moderate, rarely exceeding . The highest temperature recorded in the city was on 25 July 2019 at Gogarbank, beating the previous record of on 4 August 1975 at Edinburgh Airport. The lowest temperature recorded in recent years was during December 2010 at Gogarbank. Given Edinburgh's position between the coast and hills, it is renowned as "the windy city", with the prevailing wind direction coming from the south-west, which is often associated with warm, unstable air from the
North Atlantic Current The North Atlantic Current (NAC), also known as North Atlantic Drift and North Atlantic Sea Movement, is a powerful warm western boundary current within the Atlantic Ocean that extends the Gulf Stream northeastward. The NAC originates from where ...
that can give rise to rainfall – although considerably less than cities to the west, such as Glasgow. Rainfall is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Winds from an easterly direction are usually drier but considerably colder, and may be accompanied by haar, a persistent coastal fog. Vigorous Atlantic depressions, known as
European windstorm European windstorms are powerful extratropical cyclones which form as cyclonic windstorms associated with areas of low atmospheric pressure. They can occur throughout the year, but are most frequent between October and March, with peak inte ...
s, can affect the city between October and May. Located slightly north of the city centre, the weather station at the
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies ...
(RBGE) has been an official weather station for the
Met Office The Meteorological Office, abbreviated as the Met Office, is the United Kingdom's national weather service. It is an executive agency and trading fund of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is led by CEO Penelop ...
since 1956. The Met Office operates its own weather station at Gogarbank on the city's western outskirts, near
Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh Airport is an airport located in the Ingliston area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2019, handling over 14.7 million passengers. It was also the sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom by ...
. This slightly inland station has a slightly wider temperature span between seasons, is cloudier and somewhat wetter, but differences are minor. Temperature and rainfall records have been kept at the Royal Observatory since 1764.


Demography


Current

The most recent official population estimates (2020) are for the locality (includes
Currie Currie ( gd, Currach, IPA: �kʰuːᵲəx is a village and suburb on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland, situated south west of the city centre. Formerly within the County of Midlothian, it now falls within the jurisdiction of the City of Edi ...
), for the Edinburgh settlement (includes
Musselburgh Musselburgh (; sco, Musselburrae; gd, Baile nam Feusgan) is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, east of Edinburgh city centre. It has a population of . History The name Musselburgh is Ol ...
) and for the local authority area. Edinburgh has a high proportion of young adults, with 19.5% of the population in their 20s (exceeded only by Aberdeen) and 15.2% in their 30s which is the highest in Scotland. The proportion of Edinburgh's population born in the UK fell from 92% to 84% between 2001 and 2011, while the proportion of White Scottish-born fell from 78% to 70%. Of those Edinburgh residents born in the UK, 335,000 or 83% were born in Scotland, with 58,000 or 14% being born in England. Some 13,000 people or 2.7% of the city's population are of Polish descent. 39,500 people or 8.2% of Edinburgh's population class themselves as Non-White which is an increase from 4% in 2001. Of the Non-White population, the largest group by far are Asian, totalling 26,264 people. Within the Asian population, people of Chinese descent are now the largest sub-group, with 8,076 people, amounting to about 1.7% of the city's total population. The city's population of
Indian Indian or Indians may refer to: Peoples South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who have an Indian ancestor ** Non-resident Indian, a citizen of India who has temporarily emigrated to another country * South Asia ...
descent amounts to 6,470 (1.4% of the total population), while there are some 5,858 of Pakistani descent (1.2% of the total population). Although they account for only 1,277 people or 0.3% of the city's population, Edinburgh has the highest number and proportion of people of
Bangladeshi Bangladeshis ( bn, বাংলাদেশী ) are the citizens of Bangladesh, a South Asian country centered on the transnational historical region of Bengal along the eponymous bay. Bangladeshi citizenship was formed in 1971, when the ...
descent in Scotland. Over 7,000 people were born in African countries (1.6% of the total population) and nearly 7,000 in the Americas. With the notable exception of Inner London, Edinburgh has a higher number of people born in the United States (over 3,700) than any other city in the UK. The proportion of people born outside the UK was 15.9% compared with 8% in 2001.


Historical

A census by the Edinburgh presbytery in 1592 recorded a population of 8,003 adults spread equally north and south of the High Street which runs along the spine of the ridge sloping down from the Castle. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the population expanded rapidly, rising from 49,000 in 1751 to 136,000 in 1831, primarily due to migration from rural areas. As the population grew, problems of overcrowding in the Old Town, particularly in the cramped
tenement A tenement is a type of building shared by multiple dwellings, typically with flats or apartments on each floor and with shared entrance stairway access. They are common on the British Isles, particularly in Scotland. In the medieval Old Town, i ...
s that lined the present day Royal Mile and the
Cowgate The Cowgate ( Scots: The Cougait) is a street in Edinburgh, Scotland, located about southeast of Edinburgh Castle, within the city's World Heritage Site. The street is part of the lower level of Edinburgh's Old Town, which lies below the eleva ...
, were exacerbated. Poor sanitary arrangements resulted in a high incidence of disease, with outbreaks of
cholera Cholera is an infection of the small intestine by some strains of the bacterium '' Vibrio cholerae''. Symptoms may range from none, to mild, to severe. The classic symptom is large amounts of watery diarrhea that lasts a few days. Vomiting an ...
occurring in 1832, 1848 and 1866. The construction of the New Town from 1767 onwards witnessed the migration of the professional and business classes from the difficult living conditions in the Old Town to the lower density, higher quality surroundings taking shape on land to the north. Expansion southwards from the Old Town saw more tenements being built in the 19th century, giving rise to Victorian suburbs such as Dalry, Newington, Marchmont and Bruntsfield. Early 20th-century population growth coincided with lower-density suburban development. As the city expanded to the south and west, detached and semi-detached villas with large gardens replaced tenements as the predominant building style. Nonetheless, the 2001 census revealed that over 55% of Edinburgh's population were still living in tenements or blocks of flats, a figure in line with other Scottish cities, but much higher than other British cities, and even central London. From the early to mid 20th century, the growth in population, together with slum clearance in the Old Town and other areas, such as
Dumbiedykes Dumbiedykes () is a residential area in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. It mainly comprises public housing developments. It is bounded in the north by Holyrood Road, the west by the Pleasance and St Leonard's Street and the east by Holyrood ...
,
Leith Leith (; gd, Lìte) is a port area in the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith. In 2021, it was ranked by ''Time Out'' as one of the top five neighbourhoods to live in the world. The earliest ...
, and
Fountainbridge Fountainbridge ( gd, Drochaid an Fhuarain) is an area of Edinburgh, Scotland, a short distance west of the city centre, adjoining Tollcross with East Fountainbridge and West Port to the east, Polwarth to the west and south, Dalry and Haymar ...
, led to the creation of new estates such as Stenhouse and Saughton,
Craigmillar Craigmillar ( gd, Creag a' Mhuilleir, IPA: �kʰʲɾʲekˈaˈvɯʎɪɾʲ, from the Gaelic ''Creag Maol Ard'', meaning 'High Bare Rock', is an area of Edinburgh, Scotland, about south east of the city centre, with Duddingston to the north and ...
and Niddrie, Pilton and
Muirhouse Muirhouse is a housing estate in the north of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Location The housing estate of Muirhouse (Pennywell and Muirhouse) is bounded by Muirhouse Parkway to the North, Pennywell Road to the East, Ferry Road to the So ...
,
Piershill Piershill is a suburb of north east Edinburgh, Scotland, in the shadow of Arthur's Seat. It is mainly residential, with local amenities including a large Morrisons supermarket and filling station, bank, public library, optician, pharmacy, sever ...
, and
Sighthill Sighthill may refer to: * Sighthill, Edinburgh, a district of the city of Edinburgh ** Sighthill Stadium, a proposed stadium in Sighthill, Edinburgh * Sighthill, Glasgow Sighthill is a neighbourhood in the Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situ ...
.


Religion

In 2018, the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland ( sco, The Kirk o Scotland; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba) is the national church in Scotland. The Church of Scotland was principally shaped by John Knox, in the Reformation of 1560, when it split from the Catholic Church ...
had 20,956 members in 71 congregations in the
Presbytery of Edinburgh The Presbytery of Edinburgh was one of the presbyteries of the Church of Scotland, being the local presbytery for Edinburgh.Church of Scotland Yearbook, 2010-2011 edition, Its boundary was almost identical to that of the City of Edinburgh Counci ...
. Its most prominent church is St Giles' on the Royal Mile, first dedicated in 1243 but believed to date from before the 12th century.
Saint Giles Saint Giles (, la, Aegidius, french: Gilles), also known as Giles the Hermit, was a hermit or monk active in the lower Rhône most likely in the 6th century. Revered as a saint, his cult became widely diffused but his hagiography is mostly lege ...
is historically the patron saint of Edinburgh. St Cuthbert's, situated at the west end of Princes Street Gardens in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and St Giles' can lay claim to being the oldest Christian sites in the city, though the present St Cuthbert's, designed by
Hippolyte Blanc Hippolyte Jean Blanc (18 August 1844 – 17 March 1917) was a Scottish architect. Best known for his church buildings in the Gothic revival style, Blanc was also a keen antiquarian who oversaw meticulously researched restoration projects. ...
, was dedicated in 1894. Other Church of Scotland churches include
Greyfriars Kirk Greyfriars Kirk ( gd, Eaglais nam Manach Liath) is a parish church of the Church of Scotland, located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is surrounded by Greyfriars Kirkyard. Greyfriars traces its origin to the south-west parish of Edin ...
, the
Canongate Kirk The Kirk of the Canongate, or Canongate Kirk, serves the Parish of Canongate in Edinburgh's Old Town, in Scotland. It is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. The parish includes the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament. It i ...
,
St Andrew's and St George's West Church St Andrew's and St George's West Church serves Edinburgh's New Town, in Scotland. It is a congregation of the Church of Scotland. The parish today constitutes the whole of the First New Town of Edinburgh and a small part of the early-19th-centur ...
and the Barclay Church. The Church of Scotland Offices are in Edinburgh, as is the
Assembly Hall An assembly hall is a hall to hold public meetings or meetings of an organization such as a school, church, or deliberative assembly. An example of the last case is the Assembly Hall (Washington, Mississippi) where the general assembly of the st ...
where the annual
General Assembly A general assembly or general meeting is a meeting of all the members of an organization or shareholders of a company. Specific examples of general assembly include: Churches * General Assembly (presbyterian church), the highest court of pres ...
is held. The
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh The Archdiocese of Saint Andrews & Edinburgh ( la, Archidioecesis Sancti Andreae et Edimburgensis) is an archdiocese of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in Scotland. It is the metropolitan see of the province of Saint Andrews and Edinbur ...
has 27 parishes across the city. The
Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh is the ordinary of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. The archdiocese covers an area of 5,504 km2. The metropolitan see is in the City of Edinburgh where the archbishop's ...
has his official residence in Greenhill, the diocesan offices are in nearby Marchmont, and its cathedral is St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. The
Diocese of Edinburgh The Diocese of Edinburgh is one of the seven dioceses of the Scottish Episcopal Church. It covers the City of Edinburgh, the Lothians, the Borders and Falkirk. The diocesan centre is St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh. The Bishop of Edinburgh i ...
of the
Scottish Episcopal Church The Scottish Episcopal Church ( gd, Eaglais Easbaigeach na h-Alba; sco, Scots Episcopal(ian) Kirk) is the ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion in Scotland. A continuation of the Church of Scotland as intended by King James VI, and ...
has over 50 churches, half of them in the city. Its centre is the late 19th-century
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken b ...
style St Mary's Cathedral in the West End's Palmerston Place. Orthodox Christianity is represented by Pan,
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania ** Romanians, an ethnic group **Romanian language, a Romance language ***Romanian dialects, variants of the Romanian language **Romanian cuisine, traditiona ...
and Russian Orthodox churches. There are several independent churches in the city, both
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
and
Protestant Protestantism is a Christian denomination, branch of Christianity that follows the theological tenets of the Reformation, Protestant Reformation, a movement that began seeking to reform the Catholic Church from within in the 16th century agai ...
, including Charlotte Chapel,
Carrubbers Christian Centre Carrubbers Christian Centre is a church on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. History Carrubbers Close Mission was founded in 1858 and its 'workers' originally met in a former Atheist Meeting House in Carrubbers Close. The Rev. James Gal ...
,
Bellevue Chapel Bellevue Chapel is a church in Rodney Street in Canonmills, Edinburgh, Scotland. History This building, built 1878–1881, was originally a Lutheran place of worship for German residents of Edinburgh and those that were building the Forth Bri ...
and
Sacred Heart The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus ( la, Cor Jesu Sacratissimum) is one of the most widely practised and well-known Catholic devotions, wherein the heart of Jesus is viewed as a symbol of "God's boundless and passionate love for mankind". This dev ...
. There are also churches belonging to
Quakers Quakers are people who belong to a historically Protestant Christian set of denominations known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Members of these movements ("theFriends") are generally united by a belief in each human's abili ...
,
Christadelphians The Christadelphians () or Christadelphianism are a restorationist and millenarian Christian group who hold a view of biblical unitarianism. There are approximately 50,000 Christadelphians in around 120 countries. The movement developed in the ...
, Seventh-day Adventists,
Church of Christ, Scientist The Church of Christ, Scientist was founded in 1879 in Boston, Massachusetts, by Mary Baker Eddy, author of '' Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,'' and founder of Christian Science. The church was founded "to commemorate the word a ...
,
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian Christianity, Christian church that considers itself to be the Restorationism, restoration of the ...
(LDS Church) and
Elim Pentecostal Church The Elim Pentecostal Church is a UK-based Pentecostal Christian denomination. History George Jeffreys (1889–1962), a Welshman, founded the ''Elim Pentecostal Church'' in Monaghan, Ireland in 1915. Jeffreys was an evangelist with a Welsh Co ...
. Muslims have several places of worship across the city. Edinburgh Central Mosque, the largest Islamic place of worship, is located in Potterrow on the city's Southside, near Bristo Square. Construction was largely financed by a gift from King
Fahd of Saudi Arabia Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ( ar, فهد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود ''Fahd ibn ʿAbd al ʿAzīz Āl Suʿūd'', ; 1920, 1921 or 1923 – 1 August 2005) was a Saudi Arabian politician who was King and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia fr ...
and was completed in 1998. There is also an
Ahmadiyya Ahmadiyya (, ), officially the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community or the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at (AMJ, ar, الجماعة الإسلامية الأحمدية, al-Jamāʿah al-Islāmīyah al-Aḥmadīyah; ur, , translit=Jamā'at Aḥmadiyyah Musl ...
Muslim community. The first recorded presence of a
Jewish community Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
in Edinburgh dates back to the late 18th century. Edinburgh's Orthodox synagogue, opened in 1932, is in Salisbury Road and can accommodate a congregation of 2000. A Liberal Jewish congregation also meets in the city. A
Sikh Sikhs ( or ; pa, ਸਿੱਖ, ' ) are people who adhere to Sikhism, Sikhism (Sikhi), a Monotheism, monotheistic religion that originated in the late 15th century in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, based on the revelation of Gu ...
gurdwara and a
Hindu Hindus (; ) are people who religiously adhere to Hinduism. Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hinduism, IB Tauris, , pages 35–37 Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for ...
mandir A Hindu temple, or ''mandir'' or ''koil'' in Indian languages, is a house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus. It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together through worship, sacrifice, and devotion.; Quote: "The Hin ...
are located in Leith. The city also has a
Brahma Kumaris The Brahma Kumaris are a spiritual movement that originated in Hyderabad, Sindh, during the 1930s.Triratna Buddhist Community, formerly situated in Melville Terrace, now runs sessions at the Healthy Life Centre, Bread Street. Other Buddhist traditions are represented by groups which meet in the capital: the Community of Interbeing (followers of
Thich Nhat Hanh Thích is a name that Vietnamese monks and nuns take as their Buddhist surname to show affinity with the Buddha. Notable Vietnamese monks with the name include: * Thích Huyền Quang (1919–2008), dissident and activist * Thích Quảng Độ ( ...
),
Rigpa In Dzogchen, ''rigpa'' (; Skt. vidyā; "knowledge") is knowledge of the ground. The opposite of ''rigpa'' is ''ma rigpa'' ('' avidyā'', ignorance). A practitioner who has attained the state of ''rigpa'' and is able to rest there continuously i ...
, Samye Dzong,
Theravadin ''Theravāda'' () ( si, ථේරවාදය, my, ထေရဝါဒ, th, เถรวาท, km, ថេរវាទ, lo, ເຖຣະວາດ, pi, , ) is the most commonly accepted name of Buddhism's oldest existing school. The school' ...
,
Pure Land A pure land is the celestial realm of a buddha or bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. The term "pure land" is particular to East Asian Buddhism () and related traditions; in Sanskrit the equivalent concept is called a buddha-field (Sanskrit ). The ...
and Shambala. There is a Sōtō Zen Priory in Portobello and a Theravadin Thai Buddhist Monastery in Slateford Road. Edinburgh is home to a Baháʼí community, and a
Theosophical Society The Theosophical Society, founded in 1875, is a worldwide body with the aim to advance the ideas of Theosophy in continuation of previous Theosophists, especially the Greek and Alexandrian Neo-Platonic philosophers dating back to 3rd century CE ...
meets in Great King Street. Edinburgh has an Inter-Faith Association. Edinburgh has over 39 graveyards and cemeteries, many of which are listed and of historical character, including several former church burial grounds. Examples include Old Calton Burial Ground,
Greyfriars Kirkyard Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located at the southern edge of the Old Town, adjacent to George Heriot's School. Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century, and a num ...
and
Dean Cemetery The Dean Cemetery is a historically important Victorian cemetery north of the Dean Village, west of Edinburgh city centre, in Scotland. It lies between Queensferry Road and the Water of Leith, bounded on its east side by Dean Path and o ...
.


Economy

Edinburgh has the strongest economy of any city in the United Kingdom outside London and the highest percentage of professionals in the UK with 43% of the population holding a degree-level or professional qualification. According to the Centre for International Competitiveness, it is the most competitive large city in the United Kingdom. It also has the highest
gross value added In economics, gross value added (GVA) is the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy. "Gross value added is the value of output minus the value of intermediate consumption; it is a measure o ...
per employee of any city in the UK outside London, measuring £57,594 in 2010. It was named European ''Best Large City of the Future for Foreign Direct Investment'' and ''Best Large City for Foreign Direct Investment Strategy'' in the''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper printed in broadsheet and published digitally that focuses on business and economic current affairs. Based in London, England, the paper is owned by a Japanese holding company, Nik ...
''fDi magazine awards 2012/13. In the 19th century, Edinburgh's economy was known for banking and insurance, publishing and printing, and brewing and distilling. Today, its economy is based mainly on financial services, scientific research, higher education, and
tourism Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tour (disambiguation), tours. Th ...
. In March 2010, unemployment in Edinburgh was comparatively low at 3.6%, and it remains consistently below the Scottish average of 4.5%. Edinburgh is the second most visited city by foreign visitors in the UK after London. Banking has been a mainstay of the Edinburgh economy for over 300 years, since the
Bank of Scotland The Bank of Scotland plc (Scottish Gaelic: ''Banca na h-Alba'') is a commercial and clearing bank based in Scotland and is part of the Lloyds Banking Group, following the Bank of Scotland's implosion in 2008. The bank was established by th ...
was established by an act of the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyr ...
in 1695. Today, the financial services industry, with its particularly strong insurance and investment sectors, and underpinned by Edinburgh-based firms such as
Scottish Widows Scottish Widows is a life insurance and pensions company located in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is a subsidiary of Lloyds Banking Group. Its product range includes life assurance and pensions. The company has been providing financial services to t ...
and
Standard Life Aberdeen Abrdn plc (stylised as ‘abrdn’, disemvoweling of "Aberdeen"), formerly Standard Life Aberdeen plc, is a United Kingdom-based global investment company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and i ...
, accounts for the city being the UK's second financial centre after London and Europe's fourth in terms of equity assets. The
NatWest Group NatWest Group plc is a British banking and insurance holding company, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group operates a wide variety of banking brands offering personal and business banking, private banking, investment banking, insurance and ...
(formerly Royal Bank of Scotland Group) opened new global headquarters at
Gogarburn Gogar is a predominantly rural area of Edinburgh, Scotland, located to the west of the city. It is not far from Gogarloch, Edinburgh Park and Maybury. The Fife Circle Line is to the north. Etymology The name of Gogar first appears in a clearly ...
in the west of the city in October 2005. The city is home to the headquarters of Bank of Scotland,
Sainsbury's Bank Sainsbury's Bank plc, trading as Sainsbury's Bank, is a British bank wholly owned by Sainsbury's, a national supermarket chain in the United Kingdom. The bank began trading on 19 February 1997 as a joint venture between J Sainsbury plc and Bank ...
, Tesco Bank, and TSB Bank. Tourism is also an important element in the city's economy. As a World Heritage Site, tourists visit historical sites such as Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Old and New Towns. Their numbers are augmented in August each year during the
Edinburgh Festival __NOTOC__ This is a list of arts and cultural festivals regularly taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland. The city has become known for its festivals since the establishment in 1947 of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh F ...
s, which attracts 4.4 million visitors, and generates over £100M for the local economy. As the centre of Scotland's government and
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems: civil law, common law, statutory law, religious law or combinations of these. However, the legal system of each country is shaped by its unique history an ...
, the public sector plays a central role in Edinburgh's economy. Many departments of the Scottish Government are in the city. Other major employers include
NHS Scotland NHS Scotland, sometimes styled NHSScotland, is the publicly funded healthcare system in Scotland and one of the four systems that make up the National Health Service in the United Kingdom. It operates 14 territorial NHS boards across Scotland, ...
and
local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-loc ...
administration. When the £1.3bn Edinburgh & South East Scotland City Region Deal was signed in 2018, the region's Gross Value Added (GVA) contribution to the Scottish economy was cited as £33bn, or 33% of the country's output. The City Region Deal funds a range of "Data Driven Innovation" hubs which are using data to innovate in the region, recognising the region's strengths in technology and data science, the growing importance of the data economy, and the need to tackle the digital skills gap, as a route to social and economic prosperity.


Culture


Festivals and celebrations


Edinburgh festival

The city hosts a series of festivals that run between the end of July and early September each year. The best known of these events are the
Edinburgh Festival Fringe The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (also referred to as The Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, or Edinburgh Fringe Festival) is the world's largest arts and media festival, which in 2019 spanned 25 days and featured more than 59,600 performances of 3,841 dif ...
, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the
Edinburgh Art Festival The Edinburgh Art Festival is an annual visual arts festival, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, during August and coincides with the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Fringe festivals. The Art Fes ...
and the
Edinburgh International Book Festival The Edinburgh International Book Festival (EIBF) is a book festival that takes place in the last three weeks of August every year in Charlotte Square in the centre of Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh. Billed as ''The largest festival of its k ...
. The longest established of these festivals is the Edinburgh International Festival, which was first held in 1947 and consists mainly of a programme of high-profile theatre productions and classical music performances, featuring international directors, conductors, theatre companies and orchestras. This has since been overtaken in size by the Edinburgh Fringe which began as a programme of marginal acts alongside the "official" Festival and has become the world's largest performing arts festival. In 2017, nearly 3400 different shows were staged in 300 venues across the city. Comedy has become one of the mainstays of the Fringe, with numerous well-known comedians getting their first 'break' there, often by being chosen to receive the
Edinburgh Comedy Award The Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly the Perrier Comedy Awards, and also briefly known by other names for sponsorship reasons) are presented to the comedy shows deemed to have been the best at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. ...
. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo, occupies the Castle Esplanade every night for three weeks each August, with massed pipe bands and
military band A military band is a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the ti ...
s drawn from around the world. Performances end with a short fireworks display. As well as the summer festivals, many other festivals are held during the rest of the year, including the
Edinburgh International Film Festival The Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) is a film festival that runs for two weeks in June each year. Established in 1947, it is the world's oldest continually running film festival. EIFF presents both UK and international films (all ti ...
and
Edinburgh International Science Festival Edinburgh Science, founded in 1989, is an educational charity that aims to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the world around them. Edinburgh Science is best known for organising Edinburgh's annual Science Festival the w ...
. The summer of 2020 was the first time in its 70-year history that the Edinburgh festival was not run, being cancelled due to the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identi ...
. This affected many of the tourist-focused businesses in Edinburgh which depend on the various festivals over summer to return an annual profit.


Edinburgh's Hogmanay

The annual Edinburgh
Hogmanay Hogmanay ( , ) is the Scots word for the last day of the old year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year's Day (1 January) or i ...
celebration was originally an informal street party focused on the
Tron Kirk The Tron Kirk is a former principal parish church in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is a well-known landmark on the Royal Mile. It was built in the 17th century and closed as a church in 1952. Having stood empty for over fifty years, it was used ...
in the Old Town's High Street. Since 1993, it has been officially organised with the focus moved to Princes Street. In 1996, over 300,000 people attended, leading to ticketing of the main street party in later years up to a limit of 100,000 tickets. Hogmanay now covers four days of processions, concerts and fireworks, with the street party beginning on Hogmanay. Alternative tickets are available for entrance into the Princes Street Gardens concert and
Cèilidh A cèilidh ( , ) or céilí () is a traditional Scottish or Irish social gathering. In its most basic form, it simply means a social visit. In contemporary usage, it usually involves dancing and playing Gaelic folk music, either at a house p ...
, where well-known artists perform and ticket holders can participate in traditional Scottish cèilidh dancing. The event attracts thousands of people from all over the world.


Beltane and other festivals

On the night of 30 April the
Beltane Fire Festival Beltane Fire Festival is an annual participatory arts event and ritual, held on 30 April on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. Historical background The modern Beltane Fire Festival is inspired by the ancient Gaelic festival of Beltane which began on t ...
takes place on Calton Hill, involving a procession followed by scenes inspired by
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin ''pāgānus'' "rural", "rustic", later "civilian") is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism, or ethnic religions other than Judaism. I ...
old spring fertility celebrations. At the beginning of October each year the
Dussehra Vijayadashami ( sa, विजयदशमी, Vijayadaśamī, translit-std=IAST), also known as Dussehra, Dasara or Dashain, is a major Hindu festival celebrated at the end of Navaratri every year. It is observed on the tenth day in the Hin ...
Hindu Festival is also held on Calton Hill.


Music, theatre and film

Outside the Festival season, Edinburgh supports several theatres and production companies. The Royal Lyceum Theatre has its own company, while the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, King's Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Edinburgh Playhouse stage large touring shows. The Traverse Theatre presents a more contemporary repertoire. Edinburgh amateur theatre, Amateur theatre companies productions are staged at the Bedlam Theatre, Church Hill Theatre and King's Theatre, Edinburgh, King's Theatre among others. The Usher Hall is Edinburgh's premier venue for classical music, as well as occasional popular music concerts. It was the venue for the Eurovision Song Contest 1972. Other halls staging music and theatre include The Hub (Edinburgh), The Hub, the Assembly Rooms (Edinburgh), Assembly Rooms and the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Queen's Hall. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is based in Edinburgh. Edinburgh has one repertory cinema, The Cameo, Edinburgh, The Cameo, and formerly, the Edinburgh Filmhouse as well as the independent Dominion Cinema and a range of multiplex (cinema), multiplexes. Edinburgh has a healthy popular music scene. Occasionally large concerts are staged at Murrayfield Stadium, Murrayfield and Meadowbank Stadium, Meadowbank, while mid-sized events take place at smaller venues such as 'The Corn Exchange', 'The Liquid Rooms' and 'The Bongo Club'. In 2010, PRS for Music listed Edinburgh among the UK's top ten 'most musical' cities. Several city pubs are well known for their live performances of folk music. They include 'Sandy Bell's' in Forrest Road, 'Captain's Bar' in South College Street and 'Whistlebinkies' in South Bridge. Like many other cities in the UK, numerous nightclub venues host Electronic dance music events. Edinburgh is home to a flourishing group of contemporary composers such as Nigel Osborne, Peter Nelson, Lyell Cresswell, Hafliði Hallgrímsson, Edward Harper, Robert Crawford, Robert Dow and John McLeod (composer), John McLeod. McLeod's music is heard regularly on BBC Radio 3 and throughout the UK.


Media


Newspapers

The main local newspaper is the ''Edinburgh Evening News''. It is owned and published alongside its sister titles ''The Scotsman'' and ''Scotland on Sunday'' by JPIMedia.


Radio

The city has two commercial radio stations: Forth 1, a station which broadcasts mainstream chart music, and Forth 2 on medium wave which plays classic hits. Capital Scotland and Eklipse Sports Radio also have transmitters covering Edinburgh. Along with the UK national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotland and the Gaelic language service BBC Radio nan Gàidheal are also broadcast. DAB digital radio is broadcast over two local multiplexes. BFBS Radio broadcasts from studios on the base at Dreghorn Barracks across the city on 98.5FM as part of its UK Bases network. Small scale DAB started October 2022 with numerous community stations onboard


Television

Television, along with most radio services, is broadcast to the city from the Craigkelly transmitting station situated in Fife on the opposite side of the Firth of Forth and the Black Hill transmitting station in North Lanarkshire to the west. There are no television stations based in the city. Edinburgh Television existed in the late 1990s to early 2003 and STV Edinburgh existed from 2015 to 2018.


Museums, libraries and galleries

Edinburgh has many museums and libraries. These include the
National Museum of Scotland The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland, was formed in 2006 with the merger of the new Museum of Scotland, with collections relating to Scottish antiquities, culture and history, and the adjacent Royal Scottish Museum (opene ...
, the
National Library of Scotland The National Library of Scotland (NLS) ( gd, Leabharlann Nàiseanta na h-Alba, sco, Naitional Leebrar o Scotland) is the legal deposit library of Scotland and is one of the country's National Collections. As one of the largest libraries in t ...
, National War Museum, the Museum of Edinburgh, Surgeons' Hall, Surgeons' Hall Museum, the Writers' Museum, the Museum of Childhood (Edinburgh), Museum of Childhood and Dynamic Earth (Edinburgh), Dynamic Earth. The Museum on the Mound, Museum on The Mound has exhibits on money and banking. Edinburgh Zoo, covering on Corstorphine Hill, is the second most visited paid tourist attraction in Scotland, and home to two giant pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, on loan from the People's Republic of China. Edinburgh is also home to HMY Britannia, The Royal Yacht Britannia, decommissioned in 1997 and now a five-star visitor attraction and evening events venue permanently berthed at Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, Ocean Terminal. Edinburgh contains Scotland's three National Galleries of Scotland, National Galleries of Art as well as numerous smaller art galleries. The national collection is housed in the
Scottish National Gallery The Scottish National Gallery (formerly the National Gallery of Scotland) is the national art gallery of Scotland. It is located on The Mound in central Edinburgh, close to Princes Street. The building was designed in a neoclassical style by W ...
, located on The Mound, comprising the linked National Gallery of Scotland building and the Royal Scottish Academy building. Contemporary collections are shown in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art which occupies a split site at Belford. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street focuses on portraits and photography. The council-owned City Art Centre in Market Street mounts regular art exhibitions. Across the road, Fruitmarket Gallery, The Fruitmarket Gallery offers world-class exhibitions of contemporary art, featuring work by British and international artists with both emerging and established international reputations. The city hosts several of Scotland's galleries and organisations dedicated to contemporary visual art. Significant strands of this infrastructure include Creative Scotland, Edinburgh College of Art, Talbot Rice Gallery (University of Edinburgh), Collective Gallery (based at the City Observatory) and the Edinburgh Annuale. There are also many small private shops/galleries that provide space to showcase works from local artists.


Shopping

The locale around
Princes Street Princes Street ( gd, Sràid nam Prionnsan) is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland and the main shopping street in the capital. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh's New Town, stretching around 1.2 km (thr ...
is the main shopping area in the city centre, with souvenir shops, chain stores such as Boots the Chemist, Edinburgh Woollen Mill, H&M and Jenners. George Street, north of Princes Street, is the preferred location for some upmarket shops and independent stores. At the east end of Princes Street, the redeveloped St James Quarter opened its doors in June 2021, while next to the Balmoral Hotel and Waverley Station is Waverley Market. Multrees Walk, adjacent to the St. James Centre, is a recent addition to the central shopping district, dominated by the presence of Harvey Nichols. Shops here include Louis Vuitton, Mulberry (company), Mulberry and Calvin Klein. Edinburgh also has substantial retail parks outside the city centre. These include The Gyle Shopping Centre and Hermiston Gait in the west of the city, Cameron Toll Shopping Centre, Straiton Retail Park (actually just outside the city, in Midlothian) and Fort Kinnaird in the south and east, and Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, Ocean Terminal in the north on the
Leith Leith (; gd, Lìte) is a port area in the north of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, founded at the mouth of the Water of Leith. In 2021, it was ranked by ''Time Out'' as one of the top five neighbourhoods to live in the world. The earliest ...
waterfront.


Governance


Local government

Following local government reorganisation in 1996, the City of Edinburgh Council constitutes one of the Council areas of Scotland, 32 council areas of Scotland. Like all other local authorities of Scotland, the council has powers over most matters of local administration such as housing, planning, Transport in Edinburgh, local transport, parks, economic development and regeneration. The council comprises 63 elected councillors, returned from 17 Wards of the United Kingdom, multi-member electoral wards in the city. Following the 2007 City of Edinburgh Council election the incumbent Scottish Labour Party, Labour Party lost majority control of the council after 23 years to a Scottish Liberal Democrats, Liberal Democrat/Scottish National Party, SNP coalition. After the 2017 election, the SNP and Labour formed a coalition administration, which lasted until the next election in 2022. The 2022 City of Edinburgh Council election resulted in the most politically balanced council in the UK, with 19 SNP, 13 Labour, 12 Liberal Democrat, 10 Green and 9 Conservative councillors. A minority Labour administration was formed, being voted in by Scottish Conservative and Scottish Liberal Democrat councillors. The SNP and Greens presented a coalition agreement, but could not command majority support in the Council. This caused controversy amongst the Scottish Labour Party group for forming an administration supported by Conservatives and led to the suspension of two Labour councillors on the Council for abstaining on the vote to approve the new administration. The city's Coat of arms of Edinburgh, coat of arms was registered by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in 1732.


Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh, like all of Scotland, is represented in the
Scottish Parliament The Scottish Parliament ( gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba ; sco, Scots Pairlament) is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyr ...
, situated in the Holyrood, Edinburgh, Holyrood area of the city. For electoral purposes, the city is divided into six constituencies which, along with 3 seats outside of the city, form part of the Lothian (Scottish Parliament electoral region), Lothian region. Each constituency elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post system of election, and the region elects seven Additional Member System, additional MSPs to produce a result based on a form of proportional representation. As of the 2021 Scottish Parliament election, 2021 election, the Scottish National Party have four MSPs: Ash Denham for Edinburgh Eastern (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Eastern, Ben Macpherson (politician), Ben Macpherson for Edinburgh Northern and Leith (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Northern and Leith and Gordon MacDonald (Scottish politician), Gordon MacDonald for Edinburgh Pentlands (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Pentlands and Angus Robertson for Edinburgh Central (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Central constituencies. Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats represents Edinburgh Western (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Western and Daniel Johnson (Scottish politician), Daniel Johnson of the Scottish Labour Party represents Edinburgh Southern (Scottish Parliament constituency), Edinburgh Southern constituency. In addition, the city is also represented by seven regional MSPs representing the Lothian electoral region: The Conservatives have three regional MSPs: Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs and Sue Webber, Labour have two regional MSPs: Sarah Boyack and Foysol Choudhury and Scottish Greens had two regional MSP elected: Green's Co-Leader Lorna Slater and Alison Johnstone. However, following her election as the Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Presiding Officer of the 6th Session of the Scottish Parliament on 13 May 2021, Alison Johnstone has abided by the established parliamentary convention for speakers and renounced all affiliation with her former political party for the duration of her term as Presiding Officer. So she presently sits as an independent MSP for the Lothians Region.


UK Parliament

Edinburgh is also represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom by five List of MPs elected in the 2017 United Kingdom general election, Members of Parliament. The city is divided into Edinburgh North and Leith (UK Parliament constituency), Edinburgh North and Leith, Edinburgh East (UK Parliament constituency), Edinburgh East, Edinburgh South (UK Parliament constituency), Edinburgh South, Edinburgh South West (UK Parliament constituency), Edinburgh South West, and Edinburgh West (UK Parliament constituency), Edinburgh West, each constituency electing one member by the first past the post system. Since the 2019 United Kingdom general election, 2019 UK General election, Edinburgh is represented by three Scottish National Party MPs (Deirdre Brock, Edinburgh North and Leith/Tommy Sheppard, Edinburgh East/Joanna Cherry, Edinburgh South West), one Scottish Liberal Democrats, Liberal Democrat MP in Edinburgh West (Christine Jardine) and one Scottish Labour Party, Labour MP in Edinburgh South (Ian Murray).


Transport


Air

Edinburgh Airport Edinburgh Airport is an airport located in the Ingliston area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2019, handling over 14.7 million passengers. It was also the sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom by ...
is Scotland's busiest airport and the principal international gateway to the capital, handling over 14.7 million passengers; it was also the Busiest airports in the United Kingdom by total passenger traffic, sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom by total passengers in 2019. In anticipation of rising passenger numbers, the former operator of the airport BAA Limited, BAA outlined a draft masterplan in 2011 to provide for the expansion of the airfield and the terminal building. In June 2012, Global Infrastructure Partners purchased the airport for £807 million. The possibility of building a second runway to cope with an increased number of aircraft movements has also been mooted.


Buses

Travel in Edinburgh is undertaken predominantly by bus. Lothian Buses, the successor company to Edinburgh Corporation Transport Department, operate the majority of public transport bus service, city bus services within the city and to surrounding suburbs, with the most routes running via Princes Street. Services further afield operate from the Edinburgh Bus Station off
St Andrew Square St Andrew Square is a garden square in Edinburgh, Scotland located at the east end of George Street. The gardens, part of the collection of New Town Gardens, are owned by a number of private owners, managed by Essential Edinburgh and opened to ...
and Waterloo Place and are operated mainly by Stagecoach East Scotland, Scottish Citylink, National Express Coaches and Borders Buses. Lothian Buses and McGill's Scotland East operate the city's branded public tour bus service, tour buses. The night bus service and airport buses are mainly operated by Lothian Buses link. In 2019, Lothian Buses recorded 124.2 million passenger journeys. To tackle traffic congestion, Edinburgh is now served by six park & ride sites on the periphery of the city at Sheriffhall (in Midlothian),
Ingliston Ingliston (; sco, Inglistoun) is an area in the west of Edinburgh, near Maybury, South Gyle and Newbridge, and is home to Edinburgh Airport and The Royal Highland Showground. History The name Ingliston either means the "settlement of the In ...
, Riccarton, Edinburgh, Riccarton, Inverkeithing (in Fife), Newcraighall and Straiton, Loanhead, Straiton (in Midlothian). A Edinburgh congestion charge#Referendum, referendum of Edinburgh residents in February 2005 rejected a proposal to introduce Edinburgh congestion charge, congestion charging in the city.


Railway

Edinburgh Waverley railway station, Edinburgh Waverley is the second-busiest railway station in Scotland, with only Glasgow Central railway station, Glasgow Central handling more passengers. On the evidence of passenger entries and exits between April 2015 and March 2016, Edinburgh Waverley is the fifth-busiest station outside London; it is also the UK's second biggest station in terms of the number of platforms and area size. Waverley is the terminus for most trains arriving from London King's Cross railway station, London King's Cross and the departure point for many Rail transport in Scotland, rail services within Scotland operated by ScotRail. To the west of the city centre lies Haymarket railway station, Haymarket station, which is an important commuter stop. Opened in 2003, Edinburgh Park railway station, Edinburgh Park station serves the Gyle business park in the west of the city and the nearby
Gogarburn Gogar is a predominantly rural area of Edinburgh, Scotland, located to the west of the city. It is not far from Gogarloch, Edinburgh Park and Maybury. The Fife Circle Line is to the north. Etymology The name of Gogar first appears in a clearly ...
headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Edinburgh Crossrail route connects Edinburgh Park with Haymarket, Edinburgh Waverley and the suburban stations of Brunstane railway station, Brunstane and Newcraighall railway station, Newcraighall in the east of the city. There are also commuter lines to Edinburgh Gateway, South Gyle and Dalmeny, the latter serving South Queensferry by the Forth Bridges, and to Wester Hailes and Curriehill in the south-west of the city.


Trams

Edinburgh Trams became operational on 31 May 2014. The city had been without a tram system since Edinburgh Corporation Tramways ceased on 16 November 1956. Following parliamentary approval in 2007, construction began in early 2008. The first stage of the project was expected to be completed by July 2011 but, following delays caused by extra utility work and a long-running contractual dispute between the council and the main contractor, Bilfinger SE, the project was rescheduled. The completed line is in length, running from Edinburgh Airport tram stop, Edinburgh Airport, west of the city, to its terminus at York Place tram stop, York Place in the city centre's East End. Phase two of the tram project, which sees the existing section of Line 1 (Airport to York Place) tram line extended down Leith Walk to Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, Ocean Terminal and terminate at Newhaven, Edinburgh, Newhaven, adding an additional eight new tram stops and connecting Leith and the waterfront to the tram system. As of August 2022 this project is currently nearing completion, and is scheduled to open to passenger use in spring 2023. Should the original plan be taken to completion, trams will also run from Haymarket through Ravelston and Craigleith, Edinburgh, Craigleith to Granton, Edinburgh, Granton Square on the Waterfront Edinburgh. Proposals for new tram lines in Edinburgh, Long-term proposals envisage a line running west from the airport to Ratho and Newbridge, Edinburgh, Newbridge and another connecting Granton Square to Newhaven via Lower Granton Road, thus completing the Line 1 (North Edinburgh) loop. A further line serving the south of the city has also been suggested. Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams are both owned and operated by Transport for Edinburgh. Despite its modern transport links, Edinburgh has been named the most congested city in the UK for the fourth year running.


Education

There are three universities in Edinburgh: the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals) is a public research university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Granted a royal charter by King James VI in 1 ...
, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University. Established by royal charter in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of Scotland's ancient universities of Scotland, ancient universities and is the fourth oldest in the country after University of St Andrews, St Andrews, University of Glasgow, Glasgow and University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen. Originally centred on Old College, University of Edinburgh, Old College the university expanded to premises on The Mound, the Royal Mile and George Square. Today, the King's Buildings in the south of the city contain most of the schools within the College of Science and Engineering. In 2002, the University of Edinburgh Medical School, medical school moved to purpose built accommodation adjacent to the new Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France. The university is placed 16th in the QS World University Rankings for 2022. Heriot-Watt University is based at the Riccarton, Edinburgh, Riccarton campus in the west of Edinburgh. Originally established in 1821, as the world's first Mechanics' Institutes, mechanics' institute, it was granted university status by royal charter in 1966. It has other campuses in the Scottish Borders, Orkney, United Arab Emirates and Putrajaya in Malaysia. It takes the name ''Heriot-Watt'' from Scottish inventor James Watt and Scottish philanthropist and goldsmith George Heriot. Heriot-Watt University has been named International University of the Year by ''The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018''. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, it was ranked overall in the Top 25% of UK universities and 1st in Scotland for research impact. Edinburgh Napier University was originally founded as the Napier College, which was renamed Napier Polytechnic in 1986 and gained university status in 1992. Edinburgh Napier University has campuses in the south and west of the city, including the former Merchiston Tower and Craiglockhart Hydropathic. It is home to the Screen Academy Scotland. Queen Margaret University was located in Edinburgh before it moved to a new campus just outside the city boundary on the edge of
Musselburgh Musselburgh (; sco, Musselburrae; gd, Baile nam Feusgan) is the largest settlement in East Lothian, Scotland, on the coast of the Firth of Forth, east of Edinburgh city centre. It has a population of . History The name Musselburgh is Ol ...
in 2008. Until 2012, further education colleges in the city included Jewel and Esk College (incorporating Leith Nautical College founded in 1903), Edinburgh's Telford College, Telford College, opened in 1968, and Stevenson College (Edinburgh), Stevenson College, opened in 1970. These have now been amalgamated to form Edinburgh College. Scotland's Rural College also has a campus in south Edinburgh. Other institutions include the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh which were established by royal charter in 1506 and 1681 respectively. The Trustees Drawing Academy of Edinburgh, founded in 1760, became the Edinburgh College of Art in 1907. There are 18 nursery, 94 primary and 23 secondary List of schools in Edinburgh, schools administered by the City of Edinburgh Council. Edinburgh is home to Royal High School, Edinburgh, The Royal High School, one of the List of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom, oldest schools in the country and List of the oldest schools in the world, the world. The city also has several Independent school (UK)#Independent schools in Scotland, independent, fee-paying schools including Edinburgh Academy, Fettes College, George Heriot's School, George Watson's College, Merchiston Castle School, Stewart's Melville College and The Mary Erskine School. In 2009, the proportion of pupils attending independent schools was 24.2%, far above the Scottish national average of just over 7% and higher than in any other region of Scotland. In August 2013, the City of Edinburgh Council opened the city's first stand-alone Gaelic primary school, Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce.


Healthcare

The main NHS Lothian hospitals serving the Edinburgh area are the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, which includes the University of Edinburgh Medical School, and the Western General Hospital, which has a large cancer treatment centre and nurse-led Minor Injuries Clinic. The Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Morningside specialises in mental health. The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, colloquially referred to as ''the Sick Kids'', is a specialist paediatrics hospital. There are two private hospitals: Murrayfield Hospital in the west of the city and Shawfair Hospital in the south; both are owned by Spire Healthcare.


Sport


Football


Men's

Edinburgh has three association football, football clubs that play in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL): Heart of Midlothian F.C., Heart of Midlothian, founded in 1874, Hibernian F.C., Hibernian, founded in 1875 and F.C. Edinburgh, founded in 1966. Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian are known locally as "Hearts" and "Hibs", respectively. Both play in the Scottish Premiership. They are the oldest city rivals in Scotland and the Edinburgh derby is one of the oldest derby matches in world football. Both clubs have won the list of Scottish football champions, Scottish league championship four times. Hearts have won the Scottish Cup eight times and the Scottish League Cup four times. Hibs have won the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup three times each. Edinburgh City F.C., Edinburgh City were promoted to Scottish League Two in the 2015–16 season, becoming the first club to win promotion to the SPFL via the pyramid system playoffs. Edinburgh was also home to four other List of former Scottish Football League clubs, former Scottish Football League clubs: the original Edinburgh City F.C. (1928), Edinburgh City (founded in 1928), Leith Athletic F.C., Leith Athletic, Meadowbank Thistle F.C., Meadowbank Thistle and St Bernard's F.C., St Bernard's. Meadowbank Thistle played at Meadowbank Stadium until 1995, when the club moved to
Livingston Livingston may refer to: Businesses * Livingston Energy Flight, an Italian airline (2003–2010) * Livingston Compagnia Aerea, an Italian airline (2011–2014), also known as Livingston Airline * Livingston International, a North American customs ...
and became Livingston F.C., Livingston F.C. The Scotland national football team, Scottish national team has very occasionally played at Easter Road Stadium, Easter Road and Tynecastle Stadium, Tynecastle, although its normal Scotland national football team home stadium, home stadium is Hampden Park in Glasgow. St Bernard's' New Logie Green was used to host the 1896 Scottish Cup Final, the only time the match has been played outside Glasgow.Paul Smith & Shirley Smith (2005) ''The Ultimate Directory of English & Scottish Football League Grounds Second Edition 1888–2005'', Yore Publications, p202 The city also plays host to Lowland Football League clubs Civil Service Strollers F.C., Civil Service Strollers, Edinburgh University A.F.C., Edinburgh University and Spartans F.C., Spartans, as well as East of Scotland Football League, East of Scotland League clubs Craigroyston F.C., Craigroyston, Edinburgh United F.C., Edinburgh United, Heriot-Watt University F.C., Heriot-Watt University, Leith Athletic F.C., Leith Athletic, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale F.C., Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, and Tynecastle F.C., Tynecastle.


Women's

In women's football, Hearts Ladies F.C., Hearts, Hibernian L.F.C., Hibs and Spartans W.F.C., Spartans play in the Scottish Women's Premier League, SWPL 1. Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale F.C.#Women, Hutchison Vale and Boroughmuir Thistle F.C., Boroughmuir Thistle play in the Scottish Women's Premier League, SWPL 2.


Rugby

The Scotland national rugby union team play at Murrayfield Stadium, and the professional Edinburgh Rugby team play at the nextdoor Edinburgh Rugby Stadium; both are owned by the Scottish Rugby Union and are also used for other events, including music concerts. Murrayfield is the largest capacity stadium in Scotland, seating 67,144 spectators. Edinburgh is also home to Scottish Premiership (rugby), Scottish Premiership teams Boroughmuir RFC, Currie RFC, the Edinburgh Academicals, Heriot's Rugby Club and Watsonians RFC. The Edinburgh Academicals ground at Raeburn Place was the location of the world's first international rugby game on 27 March 1871, between Scotland and England. Rugby league is represented by the Edinburgh Eagles who play in the Rugby League Conference Scotland Division. Murrayfield Stadium has hosted the Magic Weekend where all Super League matches are played in the stadium over one weekend. Tynecastle Park, January 2018.jpg, Tynecastle Park Easter Road 2010.JPG, Easter Road Stadium A pot of gold... - geograph.org.uk - 718806.jpg, Murrayfield Stadium Meadowbank-track-and-field.jpg, Meadowbank Stadium Loch Ness monster - geograph.org.uk - 1501091.jpg, Edinburgh Marathon Edinburgh Capitals vs Belfast Giants.jpg, Murrayfield Ice Rink


Other sports

The Scottish cricket team, which represents Scotland internationally, play their home matches at the The Grange Club, Grange cricket club. The Edinburgh Capitals are the latest of a succession of ice hockey clubs in the Scottish capital. Previously Edinburgh was represented by the Murrayfield Racers (2018), the original Murrayfield Racers ''(who folded in 1996)'' and the Edinburgh Racers. The club play their home games at the Murrayfield Ice Rink and have competed in the eleven-team professional Scottish National League (ice hockey), Scottish National League (SNL) since the 2018–19 season. Next door to Murrayfield Ice Rink is a 7-sheeter dedicated curling facility where curling is played from October to March each season. Caledonia Pride are the only women's professional basketball team in Scotland. Established in 2016, the team compete in the UK wide Women's British Basketball League and play their home matches at the Oriam National Performance Centre. Edinburgh also has several men's basketball teams within the Scottish National League. Boroughmuir Blaze, City of Edinburgh Kings and Edinburgh Lions all compete in Division 1 of the National League, and Pleasance B.C. compete in Division 2. The Edinburgh Diamond Devils is a baseball club which won its first Scottish Championship in 1991 as the "Reivers." 1992 saw the team repeat the achievement, becoming the first team to do so in league history. The same year saw the start of their first youth team, the Blue Jays. The club adopted its present name in 1999. Edinburgh has also hosted national and international sports events including the World Student Games, the 1970 British Commonwealth Games, the 1986 Commonwealth Games and the inaugural 2000 Commonwealth Youth Games. For the 1970 Games the city built Olympic standard venues and facilities including Meadowbank Stadium and the Royal Commonwealth Pool. The Pool underwent refurbishment in 2012 and hosted the Diving competition in the 2014 Commonwealth Games which were held in Glasgow. In American football, the Scottish Claymores played World League of American Football, WLAF/NFL Europe games at Murrayfield, including their World Bowl IV, World Bowl 96 victory. From 1995 to 1997 they played all their games there, from 1998 to 2000 they split their home matches between Murrayfield and Glasgow's Hampden Park, then moved to Glasgow full-time, with one final Murrayfield appearance in 2002. The city's most successful non-professional team are the Edinburgh Wolves who play at Meadowbank Stadium. The Edinburgh Marathon has been held annually in the city since 2003 with more than 16,000 runners taking part on each occasion. Its organisers have called it "the fastest marathon in the UK" due to the elevation drop of . The city also organises a half-marathon, as well as 10,000 metres, 10 km () and 5000 metres, 5 km () races, including a race on 1 January each year. Edinburgh has a Motorcycle speedway, speedway team, the Edinburgh Monarchs, which, since the loss of its stadium in the city, has raced at the Lothian Arena in Armadale, West Lothian. The Monarchs have won the Premier League (speedway), Premier League championship five times in their history, in 2003 and again in 2008, 2010, 2014 and 2015.


People

Edinburgh has a long literary tradition, which became especially evident during the
Scottish Enlightenment The Scottish Enlightenment ( sco, Scots Enlichtenment, gd, Soillseachadh na h-Alba) was the period in 18th- and early-19th-century Scotland characterised by an outpouring of intellectual and scientific accomplishments. By the eighteenth century ...
. This heritage and the city's lively literary life in the present led to it being declared the first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004. Prominent authors who have lived in Edinburgh include the economist Adam Smith, born in Kirkcaldy and author of ''The Wealth of Nations'', James Boswell, biographer of Life of Samuel Johnson, Samuel Johnson; Sir
Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (15 August 1771 – 21 September 1832), was a Scottish novelist, poet, playwright and historian. Many of his works remain classics of European and Scottish literature, notably the novels '' Ivanhoe'', '' Rob Roy ...
, creator of the historical novel and author of works such as ''Rob Roy (novel), Rob Roy'', ''Ivanhoe'', and ''The Heart of Midlothian, Heart of Midlothian''; James Hogg, author of ''The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner''; Robert Louis Stevenson, creator of ''Treasure Island'', ''Kidnapped (novel), Kidnapped'', and ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde''; Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes;
Muriel Spark Dame Muriel Sarah Spark (née Camberg; 1 February 1918 – 13 April 2006). was a Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet and essayist. Life Muriel Camberg was born in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh, the daughter of Bernard Camberg, an ...
, author of ''The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (novel), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie''; Irvine Welsh, author of ''Trainspotting (novel), Trainspotting'', whose novels are mostly set in the city and often written in colloquial Scots;
Ian Rankin Sir Ian James Rankin (born 28 April 1960) is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels. Early life Rankin was born in Cardenden, Fife. His father, James, owned a grocery shop, and his mother, Isobel, worked in a sch ...
, author of the Detective Inspector John Rebus, Inspector Rebus series of crime thrillers, Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and J. K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, who wrote much of her first book in Edinburgh coffee shops and now lives in the Cramond area of the city. Scotland has a rich history of science and engineering, with Edinburgh producing a number of leading figures. John Napier, inventor of logarithms, was born in Merchiston Tower and lived and died in the city. His house now forms part of the original campus of Napier University which was named in his honour. He lies buried under St. Cuthbert's Church. James Clerk Maxwell, founder of the modern theory of electromagnetism, was born at 14 India Street (now the home of the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation) and educated at the Edinburgh Academy and the University of Edinburgh, as was the engineer and telephone pioneer Alexander Graham Bell. James Braidwood (firefighter), James Braidwood, who organised Britain's first municipal fire brigade, was also born in the city and began his career there. Other names connected with the city include physicist Max Born, a principle founder of Quantum mechanics and Nobel Prize in Physics, Nobel laureate; Charles Darwin, the biologist who propounded the theory of natural selection; David Hume, philosopher, economist and historian;
James Hutton James Hutton (; 3 June O.S.172614 June 1726 New Style. – 26 March 1797) was a Scottish geologist, agriculturalist, chemical manufacturer, naturalist and physician. Often referred to as the father of modern geology, he played a key role ...
, regarded as the "Father of Geology";
Joseph Black Joseph Black (16 April 1728 – 6 December 1799) was a Scottish physicist and chemist, known for his discoveries of magnesium, latent heat, specific heat, and carbon dioxide. He was Professor of Anatomy and Chemistry at the University of Glas ...
, the chemist who discovered Magnesium and Carbon dioxide, Carbon Dioxide, and one of the founders of Thermodynamics; pioneering medical researchers Joseph Lister, 1st Baron Lister, Joseph Lister and James Young Simpson; chemist and discoverer of the element nitrogen Daniel Rutherford; Colin Maclaurin, mathematician and developer of the Maclaurin series, and Ian Wilmut, the geneticist involved in the cloning of Dolly (sheep), Dolly the sheep just outside Edinburgh, at the Roslin Institute. The stuffed carcass of Dolly the sheep is now on display in the National Museum of Scotland. The latest in a long line of science celebrities associated with the city is theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics, Nobel laureate and Professor Emeritus at the
University of Edinburgh The University of Edinburgh ( sco, University o Edinburgh, gd, Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann; abbreviated as ''Edin.'' in post-nominals) is a public research university based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Granted a royal charter by King James VI in 1 ...
Peter Higgs, born in Newcastle but resident in Edinburgh for most of his academic career, after whom the Higgs boson particle has been named. Edinburgh has been the birthplace of actors like Alastair Sim and Sir Sean Connery, known for being the first cinematic James Bond, the comedian and actor Ronnie Corbett, best known as one of The Two Ronnies, and the impressionist Rory Bremner. Famous artists from the city include the portrait painters Sir Henry Raeburn, Sir David Wilkie (artist), David Wilkie and Allan Ramsay (artist), Allan Ramsay. The city has produced or been home to some very successful musicians in recent decades, particularly Ian Anderson, front man of the band Jethro Tull (band), Jethro Tull, The Incredible String Band, the folk duo The Corries, Wattie Buchan, lead singer and founding member of punk band The Exploited, Shirley Manson, lead singer of the band Garbage (band), Garbage, the Bay City Rollers, The Proclaimers, Boards of Canada and Idlewild (band), Idlewild. Edinburgh is the birthplace of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair who attended the city's Fettes College. Notorious criminals from Edinburgh's past include Deacon Brodie, head of a trades guild and Edinburgh city councillor by day but a burglar by night, who is said to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's story, the ''Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'', and murderers Burke and Hare who delivered fresh corpses for dissection to the famous anatomist Robert Knox. Another well-known Edinburgh resident was Greyfriars Bobby. The small Skye Terrier reputedly kept vigil over his dead master's grave in
Greyfriars Kirkyard Greyfriars Kirkyard is the graveyard surrounding Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is located at the southern edge of the Old Town, adjacent to George Heriot's School. Burials have been taking place since the late 16th century, and a num ...
for 14 years in the 1860s and 1870s, giving rise to a story of canine devotion which plays a part in attracting visitors to the city.


International relations


Twin towns and sister cities

The City of Edinburgh has entered into 14 international town twinning, twinning arrangements since 1954. Most of the arrangements are styled as ''Twin Cities'' but the agreement with Kraków is designated as a ''Partner City'', and the agreement with Kyoto Prefecture is officially styled as a ''Friendship Link'', reflecting its status as the only region to be twinned with Edinburgh. For a list of consulates in Edinburgh, see List of diplomatic missions in Scotland.


See also

* Outline of Edinburgh * National Archives of Scotland * OPENCities * Tourism in Scotland


Notes


References


Further reading

* * H Coghill, ''Edinburgh, The Old Town'', John Donald, Edinburgh 1990, * Arthur L. Herman, A Herman, ''How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World & Everything in It'', Three Rivers Press, New York, 2001, ; also published as ''The Scottish Enlightenment: The Scots' Invention of the Modern World'', HarperCollins, London, 2001, * A Massie, ''Edinburgh'', Sinclair-Stevenson, London 1994, * S Mullay, ''The Edinburgh Encyclopedia'', Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh and London 1996, * S Mullay, ''The Illustrated History of Edinburgh's Suburbs'', Breedon Books, Derby 2008,


External links


City of Edinburgh Council website

Marketing Edinburgh
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