Edinburgh Castle orientation map - explore this Scottish castle
History of Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle stands on the site of an Iron Age hill fort and has borne witness to some of the most dramatic events in Scotland's history. It has been a home to kings and queens, a military base, a prison and the resting place of the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland.
One of the most popular sites within the castle is the Great Hall, completed in 1511 by King James IV. The hall is prized for its fine wooden roof, which is engraved with figures and symbols.
The Royal Palace within the castle complex has strong connections with Scotland's monarchs, having been the birthplace of King James VI, whose mother was Mary Queen of Scots; and the place where King Charles I slept the night before his coronation in 1633.
Other popular sites include medieval St Margaret's Chapel, believed to be one of the oldest buildings in Edinburgh; the one o'clock gun; and the Scottish National War Memorial.
Edinburgh Castle is open daily throughout the year, with the exception of 25 and 26 December. Normal opening times are 9.30am to 6pm 1 April to 30 September and 9.30am to 5pm, 1 October to 31 March.
Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG; tel: 0131 225 9846; website.
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(Orientation map copyright Edinburgh Castle/Historic Environment Scotland)