St Giles' Cathedral
St Giles' is the imposing cathedral that is situated on the High Street, beside Parliament Square. The building has always played an important role in the religious and political development of the nation and retains a central role in state occasions, public celebrations (Christmas carol services and is a venue during the Festival Fringe in August), and special occasions.
Presbyterianism's Mother Church, it contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen). It has 200 memorials throughout its building, famous stained glass windows, and Rieger organ. It also has a restaurant and a shop.
St. Giles' dates back to the 1120s (although Edinburgh had a parish church in the 8th Century). It played a key role in the Scottish Reformation.
Following John Knox and the Reformers seizure of the church in 1560, it became used for all manner of things.
"During the next 300 years the building housed a police station, a fire station, a school and a coal store," says the says the official web site for St. Giles'.
"The Scottish guillotine, the “Maiden”, was housed in the church, and in one corner was a prison used for “harlots and whores”.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met here, as did the Parliament and the Town Council.
St Giles' became a cathedral in the 17th Century.
Reviews of shows here
- A Festive Flourish Review (23 Aug '10)
- Michael Mavor’s Memorial Service at St Giles’ Review (17 Apr '10)
- Science Festival Service at St Giles’ Review (11 Apr '10)