Variously known as 'Fair Edina' and 'Auld Reekie', Scotland's capital Edinburgh grew from humble roots in the 12th century when King David granted a charter to a local church - the Holy Rood of Edinburgh - indeed, the present-day Scottish parliament is located at Holy Rood.
For years the Edinburgh economy was centred around the brewing trade, but, with the closure of the city's last brewery this year, that is very much history - although Scottish and Newcastle breweries' head office remains in town.
It is the lure for tourists that now generates much of the city's money: Edinburgh Castle, which overlooks the whole city from it's precarious rocky outcrop, is probably the archetypal image of the city; every New Year's Eve the Hogmanay street party takes over the centre of town, drawing in literally millions of visitors; the Edinburgh Festival offers a cornucopia of dance, drama and comedy, as well as the fight for the coveted Perrier Award; the annual Military Tattoo, which showcases all the armed services, is immensely popular.
Edinburgh has grown in political significance hugely since the foundation of the Scottish Parliament at Holy Rood, which now wields considerable power and has revitalised the Scottish economy by providing new employment in the civil service and related sectors.
The city has had it's share of famous residents past and present, perhaps the most famous of whom would have to be Prime Minister Tony Blair who was brought up and schooled in Edinburgh.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who gave us Sherlock Holmes, was born in the city, as was Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the first telephone. Edinburgh has given the world the quintessential James Bond, Sean Connery, as well as controversial author, Irvine Welsh, writer of 'Trainspotting'.
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