Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Carlton Hill

Overlooking the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is the imposing sight of Carlton Hill.  The hill is easily identifiable with it's Neo-Classical architectural monuments adorning the top and around the sides.  Walking up to the summit, one of the first of these buildings to take the eye is the 'New Parliament Building'.
The name comes from the fact that it was proposed becoming the new Parliament in 1978.  Funding never became available for the conversion however and the Building was used instead for various, City Council departments.  It was originally built between 1826 and 1829 as the Royal High School.  It cost £34,000 and was built in the neo-classical, Greek Doric column style.
Carrying on around the hill, we came to another piece of Classical architecture.  Standing alone, it resembles an unfinished Athenian Acropolis and is known as the 'National Monument'.
Building started in 1822, a year after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, it was meant to be a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, as a memorial to those who had died in the Napoleonic Wars.  Money soon ran out and the building was never finished.  It became known as the Nation's Shame, but has since become one of the most visited attractions in the city.  Plans to finish the building have never had much support.  I think, the 'unfinished' nature of the monument gives it a certain drama which it may not have had if completed...  But what do I know?
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