June 27, 2012
0261 UNITED KINGDOM (Scotland) - Old and New Towns of Edinburgh (UNESCO WHS)
On the current territory of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland since the 15th century, was a settlement at least in the Bronze Age, but the town was truly established by the 12th century. In the 16th century it was in the centre of Scottish Reformation and the Wars of the Covenant a hundred years later, that in the 18th century to be the heart of the Scottish Enlightenment. The city has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by the medieval fortress, and the New Town, whose development from the 18th century onwards had a far-reaching influence on European urban planning.
The harmonious juxtaposition of these two contrasting historic areas is what gives the city its unique character. The Old and New Towns together form a dramatic reflection of significant changes in European urban planning, from the inward looking, defensive walled medieval city of royal palaces, abbeys and organically developed burgage plots in the Old Town, through the expansive formal Enlightenment planning of the 18th and 19th centuries in the New Town, to the 19th century revival of the Old Town with its adaptation of a distinctive Baronial style in an urban setting.
The Old Town stretches along a high ridge from the Castle to the Palace of Holyrood. Its form reflects the burgage plots of the Canongate, founded as an "abbatial burgh" dependent on the Abbey of Holyrood, and the national tradition of building tall on the narrow "tofts" or plots separated by lanes or "closes" which created some of the world's tallest buildings of their age. It contains many 16th and 17th century merchants' and nobles' houses, and important early public buildings.
The New Town, constructed between 1767 and 1890 as a collection of seven new towns on the glacial plain to the north of the Old Town, is framed and articulated by an uncommonly high concentration of planned ensembles of ashlar-faced, world-class, neo-classical buildings, associated with renowned architects, including John and Robert Adam (1728-1792), Sir William Chambers (1723-1796), and William Playfair (1790-1857). Integrated with the townscape are gardens, designed to take full advantage of the topography.
Located in the heart of the city, at the east end of Princes Street (its main shopping street), on the southern edge of the New Town, Balmoral Hotel is a luxury five-star hotel, opened in 1902. Designed by architect W. Hamilton Beattie for the North British Railway Company, in Victorian style, influenced by the traditional Scottish baronial style, was known until the late 1980s as the North British Hotel or simply the NB. Now is part of Rocco Forte Hotels network.
Sometimes regarded as the "Mother Church of Presbyterianism", Saint Giles' Cathedral is the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, located on the Royal Mile. Its distinctive crown steeple is a prominent feature of the city skyline. The present church dates from the late 14th century, though it was extensively restored in the 19th century, but building contains four pillars, about which is said that they would be from 1124. The church contains also the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen), and the grave of Bishop William Forbes (1585-1634), the first Bishop of Edinburgh.
The sentry on the Esplanade outside Castle is from Gordon Highlanders, a line infantry regiment of the British Army that existed from 1881 until 1994, when it was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Highlanders to form the Highlanders. He is wearing the Gordon Tartan which is the government tartan sometimes called the Black Watch Tartan, with the yellow regimental stripe of the Gordons running through it. He is also wearing the red and white hoe tops of the old highland regiments. His flashes on his hoe tops are belled and not ironed flat as in the other highland regiments. Can be seen also that he is proudly wearing the Stags Head Cap Badge of The Gordon Highlanders with the motto BYDAND.
Although is a very central street (a short walk over the hill to Princes Street), Heriot Row in New Town is "a quiet, residential oasis in the middle of the cosmopolitan bustle of the capital of Scotland". Is well known as the childhood home of the famous author Robert Louis Stevenson.
All objectives in the images are part of Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, an UNESCO World Heritage Site since year 1995. In addition, you can also find on the blog other objectives of this site, which are treated separately:
• Edinburgh Castle
• Ramsay Gardens
• The Hub
About the stamp
The stamp is the current Royal Mail 1st Class one.
The Balmoral Hotel – Wikipedia
The Balmoral Hotel – Hotel’s website
Saint Giles' Cathedral – Wikipedia
Saint Giles' Cathedral - St. Giles' Cathedral website
Royal Regiment of Scotland – Wikipedia
Heriot Row – I-on Magazine
Sender: Colin Conlon
Sent from Edinburgh (Scotland / United Kingdom), on 21.11.2011
Photo: Roman Michnowicz