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Sited on top of an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle has witnessed many of the defining events of Scottish history.
Ancient StrongholdFierce Iron Age warriors defended a hill fort here, and the nation’s oldest poetry tells of a war band feasting here for a year before riding to their deaths in battle.
Home of RoyaltyThe castle has sheltered many Scottish monarchs. They include Queen Margaret (later St Margaret), who died here in 1093, and Mary Queen of Scots, who gave birth to James VI in the Royal Palace in 1566.
Army HeadquartersFrom the late 1500s the castle became increasingly important as a military base. In the 1600s the distinctive Half-Moon Battery was constructed, some buildings were rebuilt and new ones were raised to house a huge garrison – and provide a secure jail for prisoners of war.