Here is Part 3 about Scotland ! This time I am delighted to introduce the Stirling Castle, one of the most beautiful and most important castle of Scotland, situated between Glasgow and Edinburgh, capital of Scotland.
Firstly the castle is located in the city of Stirling, which was founded during the medieval era. The city is known for many important characters of Scottish history as William Wallace. As one of the largest cities of Scotland, Stirling has numerous famous buildings like the Church of the Holy Rude (rude is an ancient word for “Cross”) The church was founded in 1129 and is the second oldest building in Stirling after Stirling Castle. As the Castle was the favored residence of the Scottish monarchs, the nearby church became associated with the monarchy, hosting royal baptisms and coronations.
Church of the Holy Rude
Unfortunately the original church burned down in 1405. Construction on the new nave was underway by 1414, and based on the evidence of carved heraldry the vault of the nave was completed between 1440 and 1480. Work on the chancel did not commence until 1507 and completed around 1530 which was when the west tower was also extended to its current height. King James VI was crowned King of Scots in the church on 29 July 1567. Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney performed the ceremony, and John Knox preached a sermon.In the Siege of Stirling Castle in 1651 by General Monk, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, the church and churchyard suffered damage from musket shots, which is still visible. Soon after, the controversial preacher James Erskine caused a schism in the congregation and a dividing wall was built which stood until 1936.In 1940 the church was restored and the fine oak beam roof was re-exposed.
This city is very important because the number of inhabitants is one of the most important of Scotland. The symbol of the city is the wolf and one of the Canadian twinned cities is Summerside, in Prince Edward Island. Also as I visited this city with my German flatmates we decided to stop in a restaurant of the city. There was a very good mood in it and people in Stirling were very warm and welcoming. But the scots are also known for being brave warriors on the battlefield. William Wallace is, with Robert Burns (a poet) one of the main heroes of Scottish history. He is much known for the Battle of the Stirling Bridge in 1297 where he fought against the English invader. This battle became a symbol of Scottish bravery. He also inspires other characters like the King Robert Bruce, also known as the Outlawed King.
By the way there is a very good movie about him that I highly recommend : Outlaw King. It focuses on the rivalry between the English and the Scots and the role played by Robert Bruce in History.(movie which is available on Netflix.)
The castle sits atop Castle Hill. It is surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Its strategic location, guarding what was, until the 1890s, the farthest downstream crossing of the River Forth, has made it an important fortification in the region from the earliest times. Most of the principal buildings of the castle date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The place was used many time as the main residence for Kings and Queens of Scotland. Moreover, several Scottish Kings and Queens have been crowned at Stirling, including Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1542, and others were born or died there.
Mary, Queen of Scots; a portrait by François Clouet
The castle played an important role during the Wars of Independence in Scotland, because is was a strategic point for both Scottish and English soldiers. Today the castle has conserved its outer defenses. There are many original cannons - and a lot of places in the castle have been restored to look the same as they were at the time of Scottish monarchs.
Restored fireplace in the King`s Chambers
I have also visited the Garden and the Chapel of the Castle
That was all for this chapter.
I hope you’ve enjoy it !
Next time, we will travel travel from Dundee to Aberdeen to finally end our trip on Scotland's northeast coast
See ya ! Sara
~ SOURCES :
• Official website of Stirling Castle
• Official website of the city of Stirling