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Scotland - Castles and Palaces

Tantallon Castle - North Berwick

Located directly on the sea, on the south coast of the Firth of Forth on a secluded cliff, this castle ruins offers a fantastic view of the North Sea. The castle was built around 1350 by the powerful and respected Scottish noble family Douglas Earls of Angus and served as a residence for many years. After 1528, the castle changed hands for the first time and was gradually adapted to the state of the art. It was not until 1650 that the improved fortifications were severely damaged during the English Civil War. Only a ruin remained and since 1924, the castle has been owned by the state.

Dunnottar Castle - Stonehaven

The charm of Dunnottar Castle lies mainly in its picturesque location. The castle ruins are located on a rock in the North Sea on the Scottish east coast just 26 km south of Aberdeen, near the town of Stonehaven. This rock is connected only by a path with the mainland on the Scottish east coast. Due to the optimal location, it is believed that a fortress has stood at this point before. Today you can still see the ruins from the 15th and 16th centuries. During the civil war here the Scottish crown jewels were hidden from the invading troops.

Stirling Castle - Stirling

Stirling Castle sits high above Stirling's Old Town on Castle Hill. In Scottish history, this castle has played an important role and still today, Stirling Castle is one of the best preserved Renaissance castles in the country. It belongs to the national monument and is today managed by state heritage authority. At least three battles took place in the area and the castle itself was besieged 16 times. For over 500 years, Stirling Castle has been the main residence of the Scottish kings, contributing to its history. Even today, many buildings from the period between 1496 to 1583 are visible and well preserved.

Image Credit: VisitScotland

Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland's major attractions. The castle towers high over the city on an extinct volcanic rock, from where you can enjoy a great view of Edinburgh. The chapel of the castle was built in the 11th century. The remainder of Edinburgh Castle's vast complex was built essentially in the 15th and 16th centuries. Worth seeing are the crown jewels "Honors of Scotland" and the stone of fate. From Monday to Saturday at 1pm the 'One O'Clock Gun' will sound. This tradition comes from old seafaring times and should give the sailors the exact time to set their chronometers.

Image Credit: VisitScotland

Eilean Donan Castle - Dornie

Surrounded by majestic scenery, Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most visited and important tourist attractions in the Scottish Highlands. Built in the 12th century, the castle stands on a small island in Loch Duich and can only be reached by a stone pedestrian bridge. The castle served initially against attacks by Vikings and later it offered shelter and home to various lords and rulers. In 1539, the castle could be defended with only three defenders against the attacks of Donald Gorm Macdonald. Since 1955, the completely restored castle has been open to the public as a museum.

Image Credit: VisitScotland