The jewel in the crown of the Scottish capital is about to really shine
This winter, history will come to life at the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Scotland’s most famous landmark will be illuminated with thrilling tales of the country’s past, featuring a 90-minute journey of light, sound and wonder.
The show, entitled Castle of Light, has been designed to treat and educate residents and tourists alike with dazzling animations never seen before in the castle’s long and fascinating history.
Castle of Light will be the centrepiece of a fantastic festive season in Edinburgh. The show will run for six weeks this winter, from 14th November to 22nd December. The castle will be transformed using the latest projection technology alongside timeless storytelling.
Head of business development at Historic Edinburgh Scotland (HES), Gillian MacDonald, expressed her own excitement for the upcoming event, describing the effort that has been made to make Scotland’s history more accessible.
MacDonald says: “Castle of Light invites visitors to watch the history of this iconic landmark come to life as it illuminates the very walls that saw it unfold. Guests will have the chance to follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s heroes as they’re welcomed by stunning visuals and impressive lighting installations within the Castle’s walls.”
HES is the organisation which is responsible for operating Edinburgh Castle on a day-to-day basis.
Castle of Light has been designed as a fantastic show that the whole family can enjoy. The magical experience uses state-of-the-art projections to create a breath taking, fully immerse adventure through lighting.
The experience will also include innovative illuminated walking tours, featuring timed entries between 5.30pm and 8.30pm in order to give visitors the best possible experience.
These tours have been created through the collaborative efforts of HES alongside Double Take Projections, NL Productions and Andy McGregor Design and War Productions.
Andy McGregor himself of Andy McGregor Design and War Production is the creative director behind the Castle of Light project, also spoke of his excitement for this winter’s festivities in the Scottish capital.
He says: “This is an amazing opportunity to create a major lighting projection event for the truly iconic site that is Edinburgh Castle – a place recognised throughout the world and one which embodies so much Scottish history.”
Whether you’re an Edinburgh local or just planning to take in all the city has to offer over the festive season, it’s clear that the Castle of Light show will be an experience to remember.
The team behind the Castle of Light project will have absolutely no shortage of incredible characters, tales and events to depict through their amazing lighting show. Edinburgh Castle has stood for thousands of years, and has been witness and host to some of the most unbelievable episodes in Scotland’s long history.
It’s no wonder that Edinburgh Castle is known throughout the world, representing both the city of Edinburgh and the country of Scotland for millions of people across the globe.
In honour of Edinburgh’s upcoming winter of enlightening storytelling and animation, we’re going to take a look at some of the most fascinating and unbelievable facts from the history of Edinburgh Castle. Brush up on your knowledge and broaden your horizons in preparation for the city’s glorious festive period.
Here are just some of the things you may not know about Edinburgh Castle.
Although Edinburgh castle as we know it has stood for centuries, if you want to seek out the earliest inhabitants of the site you’ll have to go back millennia. In recent years, archaeologists have uncovered evidence which suggests that there were early settlers on top of castle rock as far back as the Bronze Age, or 850 BCE.
Castle rock is the dormant volcano on which the iconic landmark now stands, giving the castle eyes over the entire city below.
A dig at the castle back in the 1990s found clear signs of early habitation, including bronzes, pottery and broaches. This makes Edinburgh Castle one of the longest sites in Scotland to be continually inhabited.
Like much of the UK and, indeed, the western world, Scotland held its fair share of witch trials back in the day. This is one of the bloodiest episodes in Scotland’s already colourful history, and much of it happened at Edinburgh Castle.
Take the story of Janet Douglas. Janet, or Lady Glamis, stood trail accused of witchcraft against King James V. Even though the evidence against Janet was practically non-existent, the king held a vendetta against her family and tortured her servants until they ‘confessed’ of Janet’s unholy practices. As consequence, she was burnt at the stake on the esplanade just outside the castle walls.
St Margaret’s Chapel, housed within the castle walls, stands as testament to Queen Margaret’s charitable nature.
Margaret married the Scottish kind Malcolm III in the early 1000s, and was known as a good and charitable woman. She even established a ferry service for those wanting to make pilgrimage to the resting place of the Scottish kings: Dunfermline Abbey.
King Malcolm was killed in battle, and Margaret died just days later, supposedly of grief. Her son, King David I, built a chapel in her memory that still stands today.
When Robert the Bruce laid siege against the castle in 1314, every building was destroyed bar this one. This makes it the oldest building in the entire country.
After the crowns were unified, the Scottish crown jewels lost their significance among the newly formed British government. As such, the Honours of Scotland were locked away in a chest and stored in the castle, where they were practically forgotten about.
It wasn’t until 1818 when a group of men, including Sir Walter Scott, set out to recover the jewels. Ever since, they have been placed proudly on display.
Look out for ghouls while enjoying the Castle of Light show this winter, because many individuals still believe the site to be home to its fair share of ghostly spirits.
One of the more well-known stories is that of the lone bagpiper. When the tunnels winding beneath the Royal Mile were first discovered, the story goes that a piper was sent down to investigate. He played his bagpipes as he explored the tunnels so that he could be tracked.
However, around halfway down the Mile, the music suddenly stopped. A search party was sent to retrieve the young man, but he was never found. Search parties combed every inch of the tunnels, but there was never even a body retrieved. People say that, if you listen closely, you can hear the sound of his pipes playing when you visit Edinburgh Castle.
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