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Old Town, Edinburgh




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Old Town, Edinburgh
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Old Town from Princes Street.JPG
The Old Town seen from Princes Street
LocationEdinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Part ofOld and New Towns of Edinburgh
CriteriaCultural: (ii)(iv)
Reference728
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
Coordinates55°56′51.26″N 3°11′29.87″W / 55.9475722°N 3.1916306°W / 55.9475722; -3.1916306Coordinates: 55°56′51.26″N 3°11′29.87″W / 55.9475722°N 3.1916306°W / 55.9475722; -3.1916306
The Old Town (Scots: Auld Toun) is oldest part of Edinburgh. It preserved much of its medieval street plan and buildings. Together with New Town, it forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1]

Royal Mile

The main street in the Old Town is called the "Royal Mile". It runs on a downwards path from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and the ruined Holyrood Abbey.

The streets are not officially called The Royal Mile in terms of legal addresses. The actual street names (running west to east) are Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand.[2][3]

Notable buildings in the Old Town include St. Giles' Cathedral, the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the Old College of the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament Building. The area is known to have underground vaults and hidden passages that are relics of old phases of construction.

Image of the Old Town from Calton Hill taken from page 179 of 'Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes' (1896) by Robert Louis Stevenson. Etchings by A. Brunet-Debaines from drawings by S. Bough and W. E. Lockhart.
Image of the Old Town from Calton Hill taken from page 179 of 'Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes' (1896) by Robert Louis Stevenson. Etchings by A. Brunet-Debaines from drawings by S. Bough and W. E. Lockhart.

Sections

In addition to the Royal Mile, the Old Town may be divided into various areas from west to east:

Major events

In 1824, a major fire known as Great Fire of Edinburgh, destroyed most of the buildings on the south side of the High Street. During the Edinburgh International Festival, the High Street and Hunter Square become gathering points. Performers in the Fringe advertise their shows, often through street performances.

On 7 December 2002, the Cowgate fire destroyed a small but dense group of old buildings on the Cowgate and South Bridge. It destroyed the famous comedy club, The Gilded Balloon. Other areas affected were the Informatics Department of the University of Edinburgh. The vast artificial intelligence library was also damaged.[5] The site was redeveloped 2013-2014. There now stands a single new building which largely used as a hotel.

References

  1. "Edinburgh-World Heritage Site". VisitScotland. http://www.edinburgh.org/about/about-edinburgh/world-heritage-site. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  2. Marshall, Gary, (Writer of All about Edinburgh) (2015), All about Edinburgh. The Royal Mile, Edinburgh : Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate, Abbey Strand, Horse Wynd, Edinburgh G.L.G. Publishing, ISBN 978-0-9934903-2-3  
  3. "Lost Edinburgh: A brief tour of Castlehill" (in en). https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/lost-edinburgh-brief-tour-castlehill-1519138. 
  4. "Edinburgh revamp.(Scotland)(Cowgate site)(Brief Article)", Building Design (UBM Information Ltd) (1639): 7(1), 2004-08-27, ISSN 0007-3423  
  5. at 09:36, Tim Richardson 12 Dec 2002. "Fire guts Edinburgh's AI library". https://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/12/12/fire_guts_edinburghs_ai_library/. 

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