St Giles Cathedral

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Logo.jpg Edinburgh: St. Giles Cathedral

Austere divinity shrouds the High Kirk of Edinburgh from the ceaseless turmoil on the Royal Mile. For nine hundred years, the kirk has been the physical and spiritual heart of the capital. Long stone walls and glorious ribbed vaults withstood plague, riots, war, and religious schism. On the face of it, St. Giles contains all the traditional elements of a Gothic church. A sea of wooden chairs fills the western nave, meeting the gloriously illuminated choir at the crossing. Unusual shortened transepts create a rectangular layout where the huge tower soars heavenward in the center above the Holy Table.

A carved pulpit where speakers once incited Scotland to break with Rome hovers a few steps above the floor, usually draped in a green and gold cloth. Bunting and textiles appear during key holidays, unable to much soften the extreme austerity of the kirk. Rows of pillars block sight lines to drag the vaulted ceilings lower, diminishing the airy spaciousness in the room. Victorian restoration adds the brilliant stained glass windows depicting the Disciples and Christ in rich detail undimmed over time. Vivid fragments of colour pattern the tiled floor and imbue a haunting beauty to the hushed interior. Almost two hundred memorials dated from the 19th and 20th centuries honour distinguished Scots and soldiers.


Zone: Old Town
Grid: DT C4
Concept: Church
Resources: 4
Security: 3

Manager: City
Owner: City
Affiliations: None

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