Points of Interest

The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama, held every summer since 1947, and its larger, more eclectic and offbeat offshoot, the Edinburgh Fringe, are world famous; the festival's 1,900-seat theater opened in 1994. Other notable features are the new Parliament Building; National War Memorial; the collections of the Royal Scottish Academy, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Scottish Museum, and the Museum of Scotland; the National Library; Princes St.; the Royal Botanic Gardens; the house of the Protestant reformer John Knox; the church of St. Giles, dating from the 12th cent.; the Real Mary King's Close, narrow streets and buildings that were buried underground in the 18th cent.; and the site of the famous prison, Old Tolbooth, which figures in Scott's novel The Heart of Midlothian. The Univ. of Edinburgh was founded under James VI in 1583; other institutions of higher education include Heriot-Watt Univ. and Napier Univ.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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