Scottish Parliament Building, Edinburgh

Scottish Parliament Building, Edinburgh

Home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood,The Scottish Parliament Building is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh, and has been at the centre of controversy since opening – the choices of location, architect, design, and construction company were all criticised by politicians, the media and the Scottish public. Construction of the building commenced in June 1999 and it was scheduled to open in 2001. In fact, it did so more than three years later; the formal opening by Queen Elizabeth II took place on 9 October 2004.

The Parliament stands on 1.6 hectares in Holyrood Road at the foot of Arthur’s Seat. It consists of a campus of several buildings, designed by Euric Miralles, the Spanish architect, who died before the construction was completed.

Miralles’ idea was that the complex should achieve a poetic union between the Scottish landscape, its people, culture, and the city of Edinburgh, hence the many aspects linking it to the nature, such as the Garden Lobby’s leaf-shaped skylights, which are made of stainless steel with the glass covered by a lattice of oak struts. The huge windows in the Debating Chamber, Tower Building and Committee Rooms let in natural light and afford wonderful views of Holyrood Park, the Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat. The walls and floors are made from Scottish rock and the furniture is oak and sycamore.

The Scots either love it or hate it, so do go along and visit it to see which side you are on. It is best to take the guided tour, because some of the rooms, closed to individual visitors, are open to tour guides. The gardens are open to the public and are full of wildflowers, shrubs and trees. There is a large pool with water features, green lawns, footpaths and bicycle paths.

Despite criticisms and a mixed public reaction, the Parliament Building was welcomed by architectural academics and critics. It won numerous awards including the 2005 Stirling Prize and has been described by landscape architect Charles Jencks as "a tour de force of arts and crafts and quality without parallel in the last 100 years of British architecture".
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Scottish Parliament Building on Map

Sight Name: Scottish Parliament Building
Sight Location: Edinburgh, Scotland (See walking tours in Edinburgh)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Create Your Own Walk in Edinburgh

Creating your own self-guided walk in Edinburgh is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Royal Mile Walking Tour

Royal Mile Walking Tour

A succession of streets forming the steep thoroughfare at the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, The Royal Mile is one of the city's busiest tourist destinations, lined with numerous shops, pubs and casual eateries, souvenir shops and small museums. It runs on a downwards slope for almost exactly a mile (hence the name, coined in 1920), from the famed Edinburgh Castle to the Scottish...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
New Town Walking Tour

New Town Walking Tour

Largely regarded as the masterpiece of historic city planing, the New Town of Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995. The elegant area is home to the National Gallery of Scotland, a wealth of Georgian architecture lining broad avenues and open squares, abundant shopping opportunities on and around George Street, and many other delights firmly associated with Scotland's capital...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

Famous Squares and Streets Walking Tour

While in Edinburgh, discover the popular avenues, boulevards and streets that lead to its most famous squares. While exploring these streets, you can find a copious amount of historic and religious edifices, fashion boutiques, classy restaurants, famous market areas, and hidden gems. Check out a few popular Edinburgh squares and streets in this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Old Town Walking Tour

Old Town Walking Tour

The historical center of Edinburgh, popularly known as the Old Town, is indeed the oldest part of the Scottish capital. Most of the buildings here, made of stone and characterized by numerous tall windows, have been around since the Middle Ages and are covered with soot, left over from the days long gone, when houses were heated with hard-coal and wood. Hence the prevailing gray color in the area....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Literary Landmarks Tour

Literary Landmarks Tour

For centuries, Edinburgh has prided itself on being a home to many great writers – Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, J.K. Rowling, just to name a few. Fortunately, the tradition doesn't seem to die out any time soon, and keeps producing more and more authors and literary heroes in whose footsteps people still wish to tread. To explore some of the memorable places of Edinburgh that have...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Edinburgh Pub Crawl

Edinburgh Pub Crawl

Edinburgh is known for its sheer number of pubs, both old and new, suitable for various events, and spoiling their patrons with the best drinks and food in town. Many of them also have live music shows fit to delight locals and tourists alike, and although most traditional pubs are laid back and offer a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, some do have dance floors and double as nightclubs. Take this...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles

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