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Sunday, 30 November 2014


Edinburgh has been recognized as the capital of Scotland since the 15th century. It replaced Scone as the capital in 1437.

Edinburgh Castle is built on the site of an extinct volcano.

In 1715 a group of Jacobites tried to take Edinburgh Castle but failed because their rope ladders were six feet too short.

The first ever skating club was formed in Edinburgh in 1742. To qualify as a member, early regulations stipulated that applicants had to prove their ability to skate a complete circle and on either foot to jump first over one, then two and, finally, three hats.

Edinburgh consists of The Old Town, the oldest part of the city, and the 18th-century New Town. Work begun on Edinburgh's New Town, to the design of the 23-year-old James Craig in 1767.

The first modern extinguisher, the Extincteur, was invented in 1818 after George William Manby saw firemen struggling to put out a blaze on the top floors of a house fire in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire service.

Burke and Hare carried out a series of infamous murders in Edinburgh in the 1820s, with the aim of supplying dissection subjects to Dr Robert Knox, the anatomist. Hare turned king's evidence, and died a beggar in London in the 1860s; Burke was hanged, to the general satisfaction of the crowd.

Charles Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University 1825-27. He dropped out as he could not stomach the operating theatre. Darwin found the two years there to be “intolerably dull”.

One of the first Scottish railways was opened between Edinburgh and Dalkeith in 1831. It contained Britain’s first railway tunnel stretching 350 yards under the southern edge of Holyrood Park.

Chloroform was used for the first time as a general anesthetic by the Scottish obstetrician Dr James Simpson (1811-1870), the private physician to Queen Victoria during her stays in Scotland, in 1847. The baby Wilhelmina Carstairs, born in Edinburgh, became the first child to be born after a mother giving birth had been anesthetized by the pungent anesthetic.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born at 11 Picardy Street, Edinburgh.

The inspiration for Sherlock Holmes was the Edinburgh surgeon Dr Joseph Bell (1837-1911) who used his powers of observation to help his diagnosis. It was claimed that sometimes he could diagnose a patient's problems purely by looking at him or her. Bell had taught Conan Doyle medicine at Edinburgh University.

The first international rugby game was played in 1871 between England and Scotland at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh International Festival was first held in 1947. It consists mainly of a programme of high-profile theatre productions and classical music performances,. It has since been overtaken both in size and popularity by the Edinburgh Fringe.

During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the population of the Scottish capital doubles from 500,000 to one million.

At the age of nine, Sean Connery supported his impoverished family with a milk run in his hometown of Edinburgh.

J.K. Rowling completed the manuscript of her first Harry Potter story, called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 1995, having written some of it in local cafés in Edinburgh, where she was an unemployed single mother living on state benefits.

In 1996 two British scientists, Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell cloned a lamb, Dolly, from an adult sheep at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is actually one mile long.

Source Daily Express

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