Exploring the architectural history of Edinburgh

The final part of this series looking at some of the UK’s top spots for architecture enthusiasts takes us to Scotland. Edinburgh’s architectural history has much to offer visitors, even if they are a complete novice when it comes to building design.

As such, whether you take a guided tour or just grab a map and head off around the city, here are some of the must see buildings of Edinburgh:

The Palace of Holyroodhouse

Situated at the foot of Arthur’s Seat on the outskirts of Holyrood Park, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official Scottish residence of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, the Palace has been the main home of the Monarchs of Scotland since the 16th Century. As it stands today, Holyroodhouse was built between 1671 and 1678, and was designed by Sir William Bruce after the restoration of the monarchy when Charles II came to the throne. Many areas of the Palace, including the northwest tower apartments and the Great Gallery, are open to the public.

John Knox House

One of the oldest surviving buildings in Edinburgh, John Knox House dates back to 1470. Named after the man who resided there for only a short time before he died in 1572, the house is steeped in national heritage, as it is linked to one of the most famous periods of unrest in is history, the Scottish Reformation. The building originally belonged to the Mossman family, and featured a beautiful, painted ceiling and wooden gallery.

Scottish Parliament Building

The cause of disagreement between architects who either love or hate it, the modern Scottish Parliament Building was designed by Enric Miralles and opened in 2004. The structure has very distinctive architecture on its exterior, such as the leaf-shaped motifs that are found on Garden Lobby roof. The low-lying buildings were intended to blend in and allow views of the beautiful surroundings of Arthur’s Seat, Salisbury Crags and Holyrood Park.

Posted by Adam Lloyd
July 9, 2015

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