DUNNOTTAR Castle, one of Scotland’s most spectacular ruined fortresses, has made the top ten in the global search for the 8th Wonder of the World, it was revealed today.
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 has now been announced that Dunnottar has been placed seventh in the global vote.
After more than five million votes worldwide, voters chose Turismo Chile’s entry of Torres del Paine National Park as the 8th Wonder of the World.
Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: “From a personal point of view, the North East of Scotland and in particular Dunnottar Castle are stunning, so it is no surprise that this breathtaking historical site was successful in making the shortlist in the 8th Wonder of World vote.
“The news that a place in Scotland has been ranked 7th overall is fantastic given over 344 locations were shortlisted and we offer our congratulations to the winner and all others in the top ten.”
He added: “In the Year of Natural Scotland, this is a great example of recognising and celebrating our rich cultural and environmental heritage. Without a doubt this and the success of Brave raised the profile of the North East and Dunnottar Castle with a global audience ahead of the year of Homecoming 2014.”
Calibre of competiton
Wendy Sylvester, Custodian at Dunnottar Castle, said: “We are delighted that Dunnottar has taken seventh place in the 8th Wonder competition. Considering the calibre of the other competitors, we are really pleased that our wee Castle from the North-East of Scotland has done so well. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has voted for us and supported us.”
Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Tourism Minister, said it was a “tremendous accolade” for the North east and for Scotland.
He continued: “Without doubt we’re riding on the crest of a wave with a plethora of accolades highlighting Scotland to a massive global audience. This type of showcase is imperative for the Scottish economy and I’m delighted that Scotland has received the recognition it so rightly deserves.
“2014 marks an incredible year for Scotland with the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games and Homecoming 2014 all taking place in what will be once in a generation opportunity for many businesses and visitors. It’s without doubt our time to shine as we prepare to welcome the world.”
Certificate of Excellence
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.