Edinburgh 3 – Calton Hill

There are three Edinburgh hills of note – Arthur’s Seat, Castle Hill and Calton Hill. Calton Hill stands on the site of an extinct volcano. It overlooks Princes Street from the East of the City and has views across to Arthur’s Seat. The hill is a magnet to visitors for its many monuments as well as its views.

My photograph, above, overlooking Princes Street, commemorates writer and philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753-1828). This view is probably one of the most famous of all those included on web pages about Calton Hill. The monument was designed by W H Playfair.

As I walked up the slope to the top of Calton Hill, I took the shot above of Arthur’s Seat.

My starting point for the walk had been Regents Road, where I passed (and photographed) the Robert Burns Monument to Scotland’s National Poet. My favourite Burn’s poems are his odes To a Mouse; To a Louse; and his Address to a Haggis.

Soon I came across the Democracy Cairn, erected in 1998 by Democracy for Scotland. It does not seem to appear on any of the main guides to Calton Hill. It stands on the approach slope to the National Monument and Nelson’s Monument. Its plaque includes these words ‘This cairn was built by the keepers of the Vigil for a Scottish Parliament’. I ask myself, ‘Is this cairn excluded by political interests?’

Above and below, you see images of the National Monument of Scotland, Designed by Playfair, based upon the Greek Parthenon. It commemorates the Scottish soldiers who died during the Napoleonic Wars.

The domed City observatory (1776) above – also designed by Playfair – appears to be in the style of a Greek temple.

My final photo from Calton Hill, above, is a view from beside Old Observatory House. You may notice the hotel building, just right of centre with the strange sculpture on its roof. The sculpture is seen as being out of place with Edinburgh’s heritage and has acquired from local people the title, ‘The Golden Turd’.

Author: writingandphotography0531

My name is Gerald Murphy. I am a retired local government officer. At the time of my retirement I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I had previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My main hobby is photography and, until 2016, hillwalking in Snowdonia. Sciatica has put an end to mountain walks and, as a carer for my wife, opportunities for photography excursions are now more limited. Since July 2022, I have started using this site as a photobook.

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