Edinburgh's mystical history

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FROM blood-sucking vampires to bizarre links with Ancient Egypt, according to author Ron Halliday, Edinburgh has a fascinating history steeped in mystery and mystic.

Could it be the Scottish Parliament was built at Holyrood because of the area's strange mystical properties? Or that Edinburgh may have been founded by the same civilisation that built the pyramids?

Did Jesus, perhaps, walk through Edinburgh's streets?

In Ron's book, Edinburgh After Dark, one 1940s theory - forwarded by writer Comys Beaumont - suggests that Jerusalem as described in the Bible, could even be Edinburgh, that Arthur's Seat was the Mount of Olives and the biblical city of Zion, a fortress on the rock where Edinburgh Castle stands.

He believed a comet strike forced the Greeks and Phoenicians to flee Scotland for the Mediterranean.

While the mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel have enthralled many for centuries, Ron's book tells how some believe it might even be a final resting place for some kind of alien craft.

Just as curious is the suggestion that the Scottish Parliament's site at Holyrood may have been deliberately chosen as a result of its mystical location.

It was in that area in 1128 that King David I was said to have encountered a white stag.

He was knocked from his horse, but as he raised his arm to shield himself from the stag's horns he found his hand clutched not antlers, but a crucifix made from the cross to which Jesus had been nailed.

The King decreed that Holyrood Abbey should be built at the spot and it has since been regarded as one of the city's most sacred spots.

Ron suggests the Scottish Parliament's design could have deep links which again connect Scotland to Egypt.

For while architect Enrico Miralles claimed he had been inspired by upturned boats, others, says Ron, believe the oval shape of the buildings is a reflection of the all-seeing eye of the god Horus.

He further points to a series of ley lines - strange forces of energy under the earth - which run through the area, several of which pass through the Scottish Parliament building.