There are a number of treasures on the Royal Mile, but sitting at the top of the High Street, St Giles Cathedral must surely be one of the most recognisable. Its crown-like spire can be seen across the city in the skyline and it is one of the Royal Mile’s most important buildings, but did you know that there has been a religious significance on this site for some 900 years? Today the Cathedral – or the High Kirk of Edinburgh, to give it the official title, is the Church of Scotland’s principal place of worship in the capital and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland’s chivarlic company of knights, headed by the queen).
To most of us though this historic building plays more a role as a focal point in one of our most notable streets. But why is it called St Giles? I wondered and looked it up – St Giles was a seventh century abbot (and once a hermit!) who lived in France. Although he seemingly never visited these shores, the Scottish-French alliance of old is assumed to be the reason that he became patron of Edinburgh, and so to its principal church.
Open to the public (except when being used for religious services, and even then those welcome in visitors) virtually all year round they have recently introduced tours which will allow people to go up the iconic tower.
If you’re looking for more, take a little look at the whole Friday Photo archive. Have a great weekend.