"The hill of wonders" Calton Hill Tip by evaanna
Calton Hill, Edinburgh: 53 reviews and 134 photos
I first saw Calton Hill from afar, going by bus on one of the bridges. The view, with all the amazing constructions, looked like something taken from Greece and yet it was Scotland. I stared at it every time I passed it, at least twice a day, but it only whetted my curiosity. I never went there - didn't have the time. Left it as something to look forward to on my next visit. In the meantime I did find out what the strange buildings were: the giant columns looking like the Parthenon were supposed to commemorate Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Never completed for shortage of funds, they give the view of Calton Hill that Greek flavour. The reddish tower looking like a lighthouse is Lord Nelson's Column with a ball at the top, which is lowered at noon and in the past allowed the passing ships to get their time right. You can climb the tower for great views of Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth. The monument you can see in one of the pictures is Dugald Stewart's Memorial by the architect W. H. Playfair and dedicated to a professor of moral philosophy at the University of Edinburgh in the early 19th century.
An oasis of peace most of the time, on 30th April Calton Hill comes alive with the celebrations of the coming of summer in the old Celtic calendar, the Beltane Fire Festival.
The painted faces of the dancers performing the ritual fire dance, the drums, the fire eaters in the darkness of the hill all create a great spectacle (I've only seen pictures of it in The Scotsman). The Scotsman says there is also a lot of alcohol, noise and litter left afterwards but that's the price to pay for the fantastic show. I should certainly love to witness it at least once in a lifetime.
2nd photo by Barbara Godlewska
Address: Calton Hill
Phone: +00 44 (0)131 529 7061
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