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The city of Edinburgh, Scotland is hundreds of years old, making it historically rich and significant. The earliest Edinburgh habitation was discovered in 8500 BC in a Mesolithic site in the area by Cramond village. In the Bronze Age, between 3300 and 1200 BC, and the Iron Age, between 1200 and 600 BC, settlements by Edinburgh can be found on the Castle Rock, Arthur’s Seat, Craiglockhart, and Pentland hills.

In the Middle Ages, Edinburgh got its name from the Dun Eiden fort that was built on Castle Rock. The Angles (the tribe that gave its name to England) joined the words "Eiden" and "Burh" which means fort. This fort would not be recaptured by the Scottish until 1018. Many friars lived in Edinburgh at this time, who would work for the community and could leave the monastery. Commerce expanded in the 14th century and products like wool, leather, and cattle were traded. Even though Edinburgh was a constant battlefield during the Middle Ages as they fought with the English, it still remained prosperous and became the capital of Scotland in the 15th century.

Around 1500, the population was growing rapidly. The Flodden Wall was built in 1513 to protect the city from the English, which also resulted in the first stone high rise buildings being built in Royal Mile. Unfortunately, the Great Plague of Edinburgh devastated the city in 1685, killing half its citizens and making Edinburgh one of the most unsanitary towns in the world at the time. But by the end of the 17th century, Edinburgh was home to 50,000 residents.

In 1752 New Town was established which would have parallel streets, squares, and gardens. By the mid-eighteenth century Edinburgh became a popular place for intellectuals, where philosophy, history, medicine, science and economics were studied. For example, the Encyclopaedia Britannica was produced in Edinburgh in 1770.

Significant Events

  • 80 AD: Romans invade Scotland
  • 960 AD: Scots conquer Edinburgh from the English
  • 1128: David I founds Hollyrood Abbey
  • 1328: Treaty of Edniburgh is signed giving the Scottish their independence
  • 1357: David II rebuilds the city and castle
  • 1497: syphilis outbreak
  • 1544: English burn the city
  • 1583: Edinburgh University is founded
  • 1707: Scottish and English governmetns unite
  • 1766: New Town is designed
  • 1920: Edinburgh and Leith become one city