Edinburgh as … history, literature and magic

On top of an ancient volcanic cone stands out the outline of a fortress. It almost seems to be in a film or in a distant epoch, in fact it is the castle of Edinburgh surrounded by gothic and gloomy buildings, an area better known as the Old Town. Edinburgh is a historic, melancholic and at the same time romantic city. It is the symbolic city of Scotland and of its independence from England, but it is also the place where world literature figures such as Sherlock Holmes, Dr Jekyll and MrHyde and Harry Potter were born. There are two components that make Edinburgh a fascinating city for all, history and legends. The point of departure to fully enjoy the beauty of this city is the castle-fortress of Edinburgh, one of the most famous in the country, and not only for its breathtaking view. Inside you can breathe culture and tradition that oscillate from 900 BC. around 1600. Once you have crossed the drawbridge it will seem to be immersed in a fairytale. In this castle are kept the Honours of Scotland (the Crown Jewels) and the legendary Stone of Destiny, on which all the Scottish royals have been crowned, including Queen Elizabeth II.
The current sovereign often goes to Edinburgh, a beloved place, one could say “of the heart”, of the consort Prince Philip. Their royal residence, which will not go unnoticed by fans of the Netflix series The Crown, is the Palace of Holyroodhouse which is located at the end of the medieval cobblestone street, called the Royal Mile or “Kilometer Real”. The Palace of Holyroodhouse holds within it secrets and misdeeds. Within her walls Maria Stuart, Queen of Scotland, pregnant a few months, witnessed the murder of her Italian secretary David Rizzio, murder commissioned by her second husband, the jealous Lord Darnley. In front of Holyroodhouse stands a palace of architectonic bad taste compared to the context, the Parliament. A modern structure in steel, granite and oak. After a gap of almost 300 years, Scotland has recovered its Parliament for which it had to build a new building as the old Parliament was occupied by the Palace of Justice. Places of great inspiration for writers who have moved from Edinburgh, or who were born here, are the cemeteries. Nothing to do with ours! They are many and scattered around the city. They are aesthetically delightful and gothic, real monuments famous for their mysticism, sense of fear, stories of spirits and ghosts. The most famous cemetery is located in a central area, near the Grassmarket square. It is the cemetery of Greyfriars which is presented as a place with a double identity: a garden during the day and a place of great noises in the evening. The anecdote of this place has a very soft key and concerns the little dog Bobby became a real mascot of Edinburgh. Bobby was a small Skye Terrier, when its owner died it stood guarding his grave and did not move out of there for fourteen years. According to the story, the dog went away only to go to eat at the bar that is located at the entrance of the cemetery and that today has its name. Bobby’s story moved the city’s inhabitants so much that they named it a citizen of Edinburgh to be buried in the same cemetery and next to its owner. Today it is possible to see Bobby’s grave right next to the entrance to the cemetery. However, there are two places to get to know this city and its “contradiction”: the legendary underground city and the Rosslyn chapel in the south of Edinburgh. This is a small and quiet Gothic and medieval chapel, full of mysteries and esoteric symbols. It is the chapel that we also see in the film The Da Vinci Code, but most importantly is the reference point of all the stories related to the order of the Templars. What if the Holy Grail was really hidden there?