Arthur’s Seat, the Legend of Edinburgh

Edimburgo è sovrastata da un’imponente collina rocciosa con un nome misterioso, che è all’origine di una serie di miti e leggende che contribuiscono alla magica reputazione della suggestiva capitale scozzese.

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Alex Warner

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Arthur’s Seat Edinburgh

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Holyrood Park is a dramatic piece of Scottish highland landscape in the centre of Edinburgh. Among its hills and lochs one peak stands out. It is an extinct volcano and the highest point in the park. It offers panoramic views of the sea and of city landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle. It is called Arthur’s Seat, and while its name may come from a Scots Gaelic phrase meaning ‘height of arrows’, some people think that it was actually the location of the ancient court of Camelot.  


Camelot was the legendary home of King Arthur, Lady Guinevere, the Knights of the Round Table and the wizard Merlin. According to medieval histories and romances, Arthur defended Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. But while historians believe that King Arthur may have been a real person, no one can be sure what in the stories is fact and what is fantasy.

Arthurs Seat edinburgh


There are more strange tales associated with Arthur’s Seat. According to an old Celtic story, the hill was a dragon that terrorised the region and ate the livestock. One day it ate so much that it lay down, went to sleep and has not woken up yet! Traditionally on May the 1st, known as May Day, young women climbed the hill at dawn to wash their faces in the dew. They believed that this would keep them looking youthful and beautiful. 


One of the stranger stories related to the hill is true. In 1836, a group of boys looking for rabbits found seventeen miniature coffins buried there. Each coffin contained a wooden figure fully clothed, with its eyes open. Eight of these coffins survive today and are on display in the National Museum of Scotland. Recent examinations have dated them to the early 1830s, just years before they were found. But what they represent and why they were there remains a mystery.

Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh


È la parola scozzese per ‘lago’. Infatti una delle caratteristiche del paesaggio scozzese è proprio la presenza di laghi, tra cui il più famoso è senza dubbio Loch Ness.

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Gaelico scozzese. È la lingua di origine celtica che tutt’oggi è parlata in Scozia da circa 60.000 persone.

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