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    Edinburgh CastleEdinburgh Castle Edinburgh, Scotland
    Edinburgh Castle is a huge fortress that dominates the skyline of Edinburgh, Scotland, atop the volcanic Castle Rock, with human habitation at the site going back to the 9th century BC, but that early settlement is unsure and why it would be built here. There seems to have been a royal castle located here since the 12th century during the reign of David I, and it would continue to be used as a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. Since it is one of the most significant forts in the kingdom of Scotland, the castle has been included in many historical events and conflicts, from the Wars of the Scottish Independence in the 14th century, to the rising of the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and has been besieged on numerous occasions, both successfully and unsuccessfully. After the late 17th century, it would become a military base, with a big garrison, and its historical importance wouldn't be realized until the 19th century, with a few renovations being accomplished. Not too many of the current buildings predate the Lang Siege of the 16th century, with the medieval fortifications would be destroyed by artillery bombardments, with one very notable exception being the St. Margaret's Chapel, the oldest surviving building in the city that dates from the early 12th century. Other prominent parts of the castle include the Royal Palace, and the early-16th-century Great Hall. The castle is also home to the National War Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National War Memorial. It has become the nation's most visited paid attraction, and although the garrison left in the 1920s, it still maintains a military presence, but it is mostly administrative and ceremonial, with a few regimental museums, as well as becoming an iconic symbol of the city and nation.

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    National Museum of ScotlandNational Museum of Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland
    The Museum of Scotland is situated in Edinburgh, in a structure that with the adjacent Royal Museum, makes up the National Museum of Scotland and is dedicated to the history, culture and people of this great historic nation that opened in 1998, incorporating the collections from the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland and Scottish relics from the Royal Museum and is housed in a very distinguished building. Some of the most famous relics include; sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy that was inspired by the works of Scottish geologist, James Hutton, sculptures by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, that contains historic jewelry, paintings by Margaret MacDonald, the Monymusk Reliquary, a Union flag and Scottish flag raised by the Hanoverians and Jacobites respectively at the Battle of Culloden and 10 of the Lewis chessmen with the remainder owned by the British Museum. The museum's architecture had been controversial from the beginning, causing Prince Charles to resign as patron of the museum in protest of the lack of consultation about its design. It is composed of geometric , Corbusian forms, with numerous references to Scotland, like the brochs and castellated, defensive architecture, clad in golden Moray sandstone.

May 16, 2011