The advantage of cities with hills is that those hills often offer good and obvious opportunities to look out over the city. In Edinburgh, Calton Hill is just such a hill, with the added advantage that it also has several sights on its back to deserve a visit. From the Old Town, you can already see several monuments on top of the hill. The most obvious is the stone tower: Nelson Monument. After his death in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 a simple mast standing here was replaced by this building which has a resemblance of a giant spyglass, and which can be seen from the Firth of Forth. Halfway the 19th century, a time signal was installed, permitting captains of ships to synchronize their chronometers.
Close to Nelson Monument is the so-called Acropolis, the National Monument modelled after the Parthenon in Athens, with which it is better not even to compare it with. In fact, the building was unfinished for the banal reason that funds dried up, and has been called Edinburgh's disgrace or Edinburgh's shame. Even so, it has become part of Calton Hill, and attracts a lot of visitors, probably not least because bagpipers come here to play.
Walking down Calton Hill takes you to to its foot at Waterloo Place. Crossing the street brings you to the entrance of the Old Calton Cemetery. Originally larger than it is now, because the construction of Waterloo Place cut part of the cemetery off, it has become a cosy cemetery with some famous Scotsmen. Dating from the 17th century, it became the final resting place of people like philosopher David Hume, Scottish soldiers who died in the American Civil War, sculptors, notables, and other people and families of importance to Scotland.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Calton Hill (United Kingdom). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Calton Hill. Read more about this site.