Fodor's Expert Review High Kirk of St. Giles

Old Town Religious Building/Site/Shrine
Free

St. Giles, which lies about one-third of the way along the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, is one of the city's principal churches. It may not quite rival Paris's Notre Dame or London's Westminster Abbey—it's more like a large parish church than a great European cathedral—but it has a long and storied history. There has been a church here since AD 854, although most of the present structure dates from either 1120 or 1829, when the church was restored.

The tower, with its stone crown 161 feet above the ground, was completed between 1495 and 1500. Inside the church stands a life-size statue of the Scot whose spirit still dominates the place—the great religious reformer and preacher John Knox. But the most elaborate feature is the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle, built onto the southeast corner of the church in 1911 for the exclusive use of Scotland's only chivalric order, the Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Thistle. It bears the belligerent national motto "nemo... READ MORE

St. Giles, which lies about one-third of the way along the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle, is one of the city's principal churches. It may not quite rival Paris's Notre Dame or London's Westminster Abbey—it's more like a large parish church than a great European cathedral—but it has a long and storied history. There has been a church here since AD 854, although most of the present structure dates from either 1120 or 1829, when the church was restored.

The tower, with its stone crown 161 feet above the ground, was completed between 1495 and 1500. Inside the church stands a life-size statue of the Scot whose spirit still dominates the place—the great religious reformer and preacher John Knox. But the most elaborate feature is the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle, built onto the southeast corner of the church in 1911 for the exclusive use of Scotland's only chivalric order, the Most Ancient and Noble Order of the Thistle. It bears the belligerent national motto "nemo me impune lacessit" ("No one provokes me with impunity"). Look out for the carved wooden angel playing bagpipes.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine Free Silversea Cruise Historical

Quick Facts

High St.
Edinburgh, Edinburgh  EH1 1RE, Scotland

0131-225–9442

www.stgilescathedral.org.uk

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Rate Includes: Free, but donations welcome

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