DUNNOTTAR Castle, one of Scotland’s most spectacular ruined fortresses, is firmly in the top ten in the final weeks of a global vote to be named the “8th Wonder of the World.”
The iconic Aberdeenshire castle, which inspired Princess Merida’s family home in Disney-Pixar’s Brave and doubled for Elsinore in Franco Zeffirelli’s Hamlet, was the clear winner for Scotland’s nomination for the contest earlier this year.
And it was revealed today that the castle is still vying with Stonehenge, the Empire State Building and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge to win the worldwide vote when the public poll closes at the end of this month in VirtualTourist.com’s global competition.
A spokeswoman for VisitScotland said: “As the last few weeks of voting takes place, Aberdeenshire’s Dunnottar Castle remains in the top ten out of 334 nominations. And with online voting not due to finish until 30 September, votes can still be cast before any final decision is made.”
She added: “Dunnottar Castle faces stiff competition from the likes of world-famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Stonehenge and the Matterhorn mountain.”
Jim Clarkson, regional partnerships director at VisitScotland, said: “It is no surprise to me that Dunnottar is such a popular choice with voters and with just a couple of weeks left before this poll closes, I’d encourage everyone to get online and vote for this spectacular castle, as it is up against some of the world’s most well-known locations and attractions.
“In this, the Year of Natural Scotland, it would be amazing to see this iconic North-east landmark crowned the ‘8th Wonder of the World’.”
Wendy Sylvester, custodian at Dunnottar Castle, said: “We have been incredibly touched by the support we have had from all over the world, not to mention the backing from our local community in Stonehaven and the rest of the UK. We still need everyone to vote for Dunnottar each day until the end of September to ensure we stand as much chance as possible of bringing the title home to Scotland.”
Dunnottar Castle was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, placing them in the top-performing ten per cent of all businesses worldwide on the travel website.
There has been a keep on the rocky headland which dominates Stonehaven since the Middle Ages. The castle was besieged by William Wallace in 1297 and later became the seat of the Earls Marischal, one of the most powerful families in Scotland.
In the 17th Century the castle played a key role in Scottish history when its small garrison held out against a siege by Oliver Cromwell’s army for eight months. The Earl Marischal had been given the “Honours of Scotland” - the Scottish Crown Jewels - for safekeeping and the Crown, sceptre and sword were successfully smuggled past the Cromwell’s blockade.