What do you do when you’ve only been in Scotland for a few weeks and haven’t yet been smart enough to buy yourself an umbrella? And you’ve left the house during a brief hour of beautiful sunshine which made you think you didn’t need your waterproof jacket? And you’re enjoying the crazy which is the Edinburgh Fringe festival when the skies suddenly open up and a major downpour lands upon your head?
You duck into the next open door, that’s what.
And because you’re in Edinburgh, that open door happens to belong to a cathedral which has been standing for six hundred and fifty years (probably longer, evidence suggests the first major part of the current church was built about nine hundred years ago).
Of course it was.
One of these days I’m going to stop being surprised by the history.
Today is not that day.
Today is still a day when I wander around gaping with my mouth open every time I see an old building and realize it is two or three (or four or five) times older than my own entire country. Especially an incredibly beautiful building.
Turns out I’m kind of a sucker for the stained glass. I didn’t know until later that it’s a bit unusual that this church even has stained glass as it’s normally something you see in Catholic churches, not Presbyterian churches like this one.
The glass is fairly new, only dating back to the late eighteen hundreds.
You know, only a hundred and something years old.
Pretty impressive, no?
Our downpour only lasted about ten minutes. By then I was hooked and Brian couldn’t drag me out of there until I’d looked at every corner and read every inscription.
The sun peeked out again and lit up the windows. Stunning!
Apparently I was too busy gawking at the windows and arches to see the sign asking for a £3 donation for the privilege of taking photos inside. Oops. I’ll drop them six next time. I’m sure there will be a next time.
I only had my point and shoot camera with me, so my photos don’t do it justice. Take a look at this panorama from the Wikipedia page and you can get a much better feel of just how large and impressive the interior is:
We wandered through, peeked in to every corner and chapel, stared at every window and marveled at the architecture, then we wandered back out in to the sunshine which was reflected off the wet streets and buildings of the Royal Mile.
It is just impossible not to be dazzled by this city.
On the map: Click here to see this location on our Google Map.