International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

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Edinburgh

Location: Scotland

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On this excursion, we visit the city sometimes known as the Athens of the North: fascinating, historical Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. Edinburgh is the second biggest city in Scotland behind Glasgow. It is home to the Scottish Parliament and has long been considered a premiere city of education, with the ancient University of Edinburgh ranking among the world's top 20 universities. It is also home to several world heritage sites, as well Edinburgh Castle and one of the Queen of England's official residences, Holyrood Palace.

There is evidence of people living in Edinburgh as far early as 8500 BC, and Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements have been found on Arthur's seat and Castle Rock. But it wasn't until the 12th Century that King David I founded it as a Royal Borough. After the English Civil War and the invasion of Oliver Cromwell's army here, Edinburgh would become a stronghold of the Protestant Reform Movement and headquarters of the Presbyterian Church. During the 17th century, the city limited its residential district to only one square mile, leading to overcrowding and poor sanitation and harming the city's international reputation. But since the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century, when many of the beautiful Georgian buildings of the Mile were built, Edinburgh has been a city much admired by visitors and traveling scholars, and its name is often associated with prominent intellectuals such as Adam Smith, David Hume and John Knox.

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