edinburgh national monument

Going Greek on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill

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A Greek style acropolis sits atop Calton Hill in Edinburgh. The 1829 National Monument which commemorates Scottish soldiers and sailors who died in the Napoleonic Wars, took its inspiration from the Parthenon in Athens. Many assumed that the structure was left unfinished due to lack of funds, but evidently the architects, William Cockerell and William Playfair, plans only portray the current twelve columns.

If you’re visiting Edinburgh when the weather is clear and dry you should take a walk, or drive, up Calton Hill for a closer look at the National Monument and the views of Edinburgh.

edinburgh national monument

The National Monument on Calton Hill Edinburgh

View toward Edinburgh Castle from Calton Hill

View from Calton Hill towards Edinburgh Castle

The National Monument isn’t the only landmark on Calton Hill; you can climb the Nelson Monument for even better views of the surrounding city. The Nelson monument, completed in 1815, marks Admiral Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805; appropriately it’s shaped like an inverted telescope.

Nelson Monument & National Monument on Calton Hill Edinburgh

National Monument & Nelson Monument on Calton Hill Edinburgh


The National Monument on Calton Hill Edinburgh

The National Monument with the Forth Estuary on the horizon

The National Monument & Nelson Monument on Edinburgh's Calton Hill

The National Monument & the adjacent Nelson Monument

The Scottish philospher Dugald Stewart was commemorated by the construction of a monument in the 1830s.

Dugald Stewart Monument on Edinburgh's Calton Hill

Dugald Stewart Memorial on Calton Hill

Looking toward Arthur's Seat from Calton Hill

Looking toward Arthur’s Seat from Calton Hill

If you’d prefer a more challenging ascent, you can walk up Arthur’s Seat for more great views over Edinburgh.

Start planning your trip to the Scottish capital by searching for the lowest prices on Edinburgh hotels.

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