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(ĕd`ĭnbərə), city (1991 pop. 433,200) and council area, royal burgh, capital of Scotland, on the Firth of Forth. LeithLeith
, former town, Edinburgh, SE Scotland, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth. It was incorporated into Edinburgh in 1920. As a strategically located port, Leith was the object of contention in several struggles.
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, part of the city since 1920, is Edinburgh's port. The city is famous in Scottish legend and literature as Dunedin or "Auld Reekie." It is divided into two sections. The Old Town, on the slope of Castle Rock, dates from the 11th cent. and contains most of the city's historic sites; the New Town spread to the north in the late 18th cent.


Edinburgh is Scotland's administrative, financial, legal, medical, and insurance center, and the city has become an important nuclear and electronics research center. The port imports grain, fertilizer, petroleum, minerals, wood pulp, cement, fruit, and vegetables. Edinburgh is a large brewing center, has a thriving publishing industry, and produces great quantities of high-grade paper. There are metalworks and rubber and engineering works. Other industries are distilling; the manufacture of glassware, drugs, and chemicals; and shipbuilding. The Waverly railway station is the second largest in Great Britain. Tourism is of major importance.

Points of Interest

The Edinburgh International Festival of Music and Drama, held every summer since 1947, and its larger, more eclectic and offbeat offshoot, the Edinburgh Fringe, are world famous; the festival's 1,900-seat theater opened in 1994. Other notable features are the new Parliament Building; National War Memorial; the collections of the Royal Scottish Academy, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Royal Scottish Museum, and the Museum of Scotland; the National Library; Princes St.; the Royal Botanic Gardens; the house of the Protestant reformer John KnoxKnox, John,
1514?–1572, Scottish religious reformer, founder of Scottish Presbyterianism. Early Career as a Reformer

Little is recorded of his life before 1545. He probably attended St. Andrews Univ.
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; the church of St. Giles, dating from the 12th cent.; the Real Mary King's Close, narrow streets and buildings that were buried underground in the 18th cent.; and the site of the famous prison, Old Tolbooth, which figures in Scott's novel The Heart of Midlothian. The Univ. of EdinburghEdinburgh, University of,
at Edinburgh, Scotland; founded 1583. It has faculties of divinity, law, medicine, arts, science, music, social sciences, and veterinary medicine.
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 was founded under James VI in 1583; other institutions of higher education include Heriot-Watt Univ. and Napier Univ.


Edinburgh's history may be said to have begun when Malcolm IIIMalcolm III
(Malcolm Canmore), d. 1093, king of Scotland (1057–93), son of Duncan I; successor to Macbeth (d. 1057). It took him some years after Macbeth's death to regain the boundaries of his father's kingdom.
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 of Scotland erected a castle there in the late 11th cent. and his wife built the Chapel of St. Margaret, the city's oldest surviving building. A town grew up around the castle and was chartered in 1329 by Robert I. It grew steadily despite repeated sacking and burning by the English in the border wars and became the capital city of Scotland in 1437.

James IV was the first monarch to make Edinburgh his regular seat. The rooms of Mary Queen of Scots are preserved in Holyrood PalaceHolyrood Palace
[i.e., holy cross], royal residence, Edinburgh, SE Scotland. In 1128, David I founded Holyrood Abbey on this site, where according to legend he was saved from an infuriated stag by the miraculous interception of a cross.
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. The city lost importance when James VI became king of England in 1603 and commerce and society followed the court to London. After the Act of Union with England in 1707 dissolved the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh retained the Supreme Courts of Law, which now meet in the old Parliament House.

Edinburgh blossomed as a cultural center in the 18th and 19th cent. around the figures of the philosophers David HumeHume, David
, 1711–76, Scottish philosopher and historian. Educated at Edinburgh, he lived (1734–37) in France, where he finished his first philosophical work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40).
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 and Adam SmithSmith, Adam,
1723–90, Scottish economist, educated at Glasgow and Oxford. He became professor of moral philosophy at the Univ. of Glasgow in 1752, and while teaching there wrote his Theory of Moral Sentiments
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 and the writers Robert BurnsBurns, Robert,
1759–96, Scottish poet. Life

The son of a hard-working and intelligent farmer, Burns was the oldest of seven children, all of whom had to help in the work on the farm.
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 and Sir Walter ScottScott, Sir Walter,
1771–1832, Scottish novelist and poet, b. Edinburgh. He is considered the father of both the regional and the historical novel. Early Life and Works

After an apprenticeship in his father's law office Scott was admitted (1792) to the bar.
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. The Edinburgh Review, founded in 1802, added to the city's literary reputation. Following voter approval and parliamentary passage of a devolution act, the Scottish Parliament met for the first time in nearly 300 years in Edinburgh in 1999. The new parliament building was completed in 2004.


See R. Crawford, On Glasgow and Edinburgh (2013).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city and royal burgh in Great Britain; capital of Scotland and center of the province of Lothian. Population, 543,000 (1971). Edinburgh is situated near the Firth of Forth, an inlet of the North Sea; the port of Leith on the shore of the firth is within the city limits. Edinburgh is a transportation junction and an industrial center, as well as an important cultural center. It has enterprises of the printing, paper, pharmaceutical, and food-processing industries. Machinery is also produced, including electrical equipment and machinery for the paper industry. The city is the home of the Royal Scottish Academy, and it has a university.

The first written information about Edinburgh dates from the sixth century. Edinburgh probably received the rights of a city in the 12th century. It became the capital of Scotland in the mid-15th century. From the 13th to the 17th centuries it was repeatedly occupied by English troops, which caused considerable destruction. The city’s importance as a political and administrative center declined in the 17th and 18th centuries as a result of the union of Scotland and England. During the industrial revolution, which began in the mid-18th century, the city’s commercial, industrial, and financial role increased. In the 1830’s a trade union council was founded in Edinburgh and the Chartist movement spread.

Edinburgh, one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, is known as the Athens of the North. It is situated on several hills and has narrow, winding streets lined with towerlike houses, up to 12 stories high, of coarse stone. The new part has a regular layout (plan of 1767–68, architect J. Craig) with beautifully integrated architecture in the classical style. Notable structures include the former royal castle (11th–16th centuries) and Holyrood Palace, residence of the Scottish kings (begun 1128). Also of interest are the city’s 16th-century houses, classical-style buildings and architectural complexes, including Charlotte Square (1792–1807, architect R. Adam and others), and neo-Gothic structures. The Turn-house air terminal was built in 1955 by R. Matthew. Museums include the Royal Scottish Museum, the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, and the National Gallery of Scotland.


Voronikhina, L. N. Edinburg. Leningrad, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Duke of, title of Prince Philip Mountbatten. born 1921, husband of Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


1. the capital of Scotland and seat of the Scottish Parliament (from 1999), in City of Edinburgh council area on the S side of the Firth of Forth: became the capital in the 15th century; castle; three universities (including University of Edinburgh,1583); commercial and cultural centre, noted for its annual festival. Pop.: 430 082 (2001)
2. City of. a council area in central Scotland, created from part of Lothian region in 1996. Pop.: 448 370 (2003 est.). Area: 262 sq. km (101 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005