Rich in history and architecture, as well as compact and walkable, Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh is a visitor’s treasure house:
Edinburgh’s Folly on Calton Hill: Mimicking the Greek Parthenon, construction of this memorial began in 1826 as the National Monument to the fallen fighters of the Napoleonic Wars, but was abandoned in 1829 due to a lack of funds. Hence, its nicknames: as well as Folly, it is known as Edinburgh’s Disgrace or The Pride and Poverty of Scotland. Nevertheless, the monument’s incomplete state is perhaps all the more poignant as it echoes the unfinished, shortened lives of those it was meant to commemorate.
Edinburgh’s brooding gothic skyline.
Overlooking Princes Street and the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh’s Old Town castle, situated on a high volcanic rock, dominates the cityscape. Human presence on the site has been traced back to the Iron Age.
A bird’s eye view from Edinburgh Castle: Busy Princes Street in the foreground and the Firth of Forth in the background.
Scott’s Monument on Princes Street: A Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, the world’s largest monument to an author.
Street musician beside Scott’s Monument.
Founded in 1838, Jenners on Princes Street is Scotland’s famous luxury department store. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1892 and the current building reopened in 1895. Sculptural female figures on the façade symbolize women’s dominant role in the home.
Charlotte Square: Although the elegant Georgian townhouses surrounding this New Town square are predominantly office spaces now, when they were indeed new in 1820, wealthy citizens called them home.
Detail of Georgian architecture on the north side of Charlotte Square.
Narrow side alleys in the Old Town invite exploration.
Edinburgh Old Town tenements date from as early as the 17th century and could be up to 15 stories tall to house as many as possible in the cramped and crowded conditions of the Old Town. Though many were demolished in the mid 20th century, in some areas of the city, these surviving multi-dwelling buildings have become desirable homes due to their high ceilings and historical detail.
Flânerie: Urban Wandering
“Through flânerie, time is not lost, it is rediscovered! Guided by instinct, senses all alert, flâneurs watch passing moments intently, all the better to seize them. Flâneurs garner, forage and gather. “*
This is a gathering of passing moments seized as I wandered London.
Note: The first and last photographs in this series are film; all others are digital.