Edinburgh was founded before the 7th century and these photographs, some dating back over 100 years, show just how much our bonnie capital city has grown.
Those of us in Edinburgh or “Auld Reekie” are all too familiar with the traffic and delays caused by construction, but some of these pictures put into perspective the long-term benefits of that work as we appreciate where we are today.
Considered a masterpiece of architecture, Edinburgh’s Old Town and Georgian New Town reflect the city’s history and tell the stories of a bygone past (some spine-chilling) that adds character and charm to Scotland’s fabled capital city.
Here are 11 pictures that show Edinburgh then and now; with photographs taken many lifetimes from our own - when future content creators mark the changes between today and their time, what changes do you expect we’ll see?
1. Princes Street (1858)
Unlike the horse-drawn carriages that once graced the cobbled paths of Princes Street, these days you will be faced with a slew of chaotic busses, cars and trams. What's unchanged though is the Scott Monument in the background which has stood tall since 1840.
Photo: National Galleries of Scotland (Flickr) / Dr. Osama S M Amin FRCP(Glasg) (WikiCommons)
2. Grassmarket (1865)
Nowadays the Grassmarket boasts an exquisite selection of pubs and shops, but back in the day it was a busy market place for livestock and - unfortunately - an infamous site for public executions.
Photo: A. D. White Architectural Photographs, Cornell University / kim traynor (WikiCommons)
3. Edinburgh Castle, cannons (1843–47)
Edinburgh's famous "One o'clock gun" - which is the cannon being fired daily at 1 in the afternoon - is a tradition that dates back to 1861. It served as a time signal to ship captains so they could set their chronometers at Leith Harbour, 2 miles away.
Photo: B (Flickr) / Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (WikiCommons)
4. Calton Hill View (1865)
Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh's most famous landmarks for its collection of historical architecture, one being the National Monument which is inspired by the Parthenon in Athens.
Photo: Juan Antonio Segal (Flickr) / George Washington Wilson (WikiCommons)