1. It Is Part of A World Heritage Site
When it comes to facts about Calton Hill, there is no better place to start than at the beginning. With its unique blend of old and new, Edinburgh was granted World Heritage Status in 1995. Set in the heart of Edinburgh and home to many historic sites, Calton Hill is an important part of our World Heritage City. A site of tremendous historical significance, Calton Hill was bought by the town council in 1724. Not only was it one of the first public parks in the country, it has been a beacon of Edinburgh history for centuries.
2. Home to Edinburgh’s Shame
One of the most striking monuments on the summit of Calton Hill, and in full view of the city below, is without a doubt the National Monument. Work began on this Athenian-inspired monument in the early 1820s in a bid to commemorate the many brave men who gave their lives during the Napoleonic Wars. But funds for this ambitious undertaking soon ran dry and Scotland’s National Monument has existed in a permanent half-finished state ever since. Over the years there have been many failed attempts to complete the monument and restore it to its intended glory, but the jewel atop Calton Hill has subsequently been dubbed “Edinburgh’s Shame”.
3. The Birthplace of The Panorama
The beautiful panoramic views from Calton Hill have inspired visitors for centuries. Famous monuments and world-renowned landmarks can be seen for miles around. In fact, the views are so inspiring, they inspired a whole new art form: the Panorama. In the 1780s Irish painter, Robert Barker, set off to Edinburgh in the hopes to improve his fortunes. Little did he know he would be creating one of the most lucrative entertainment forms of the age. A master of perspective, it is believed he came up with the idea during one of his visits to our favourite hilltop in 1787. With the help of his 12-year-old son and some self-designed apparatus, he sketched a 360-degree view of Edinburgh from the top of Calton Hill.
So there you have it. Three little known facts about Calton Hill. But of all our favourite facts about Calton Hill, there is one we cherish more than any other – this world-famous Edinburgh landmark is right on our door step. Situated in the heart of Edinburgh at the foot of Calton Hill, this fortress of history and significance is less than a five-minute walk from our city centre hotel. Which means if you are planning a trip to our favourite historical landmark, there is no better place to stay than right here in its shadow.