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St Giles Cathedral

Witness Edinburgh’s ancient Cathedral, St Giles. First founded in the 12th century by King David I, St Giles was the backdrop to much of Scotland’s tempestuous religious history, including the civil war and Reformation throughout the Middle Ages. St Giles remains a vital piece of history, most recently as the final Scottish resting place of Queen Elizabeth II in 2022.

  • St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh at sunset, featuring the statue of Adam Smith,

Home to Almost a Millenium of Scottish History


St Giles’ Cathedral, situated on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture and a cherished symbol of Scotland’s religious and cultural heritage. Dating back to the 12th century, this iconic cathedral has played a central role in the nation’s history, witnessing royal weddings, coronations, and significant events throughout the centuries.

The cathedral’s striking exterior, adorned with intricate stonework and majestic spires, commands attention from passersby, while its interior boasts a wealth of architectural marvels and artistic treasures. Visitors to St Giles’ Cathedral can marvel at its stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and ornate vaulted ceilings, each telling a story of faith, history, and tradition.

One of the most renowned features of St Giles’ Cathedral is its Thistle Chapel, a masterpiece of medieval craftsmanship and the spiritual home of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest chivalric order. Here, visitors can admire the intricate woodcarvings, heraldic symbols, and richly decorated furnishings that adorn this sacred space.

St Giles’ Cathedral also serves as a vibrant hub of worship, music, and community, with regular services, concerts, and events held throughout the year. Its renowned choir and organ music contribute to the cathedral’s serene and uplifting atmosphere, drawing visitors from near and far to experience its spiritual resonance and cultural significance.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a religious pilgrim, or simply a curious traveller, a visit to St Giles’ Cathedral offers a profound and inspiring journey through Scotland’s past and present.  It has witnessed key moments in Scottish history, serving as the backdrop to countless royal ceremonies, political events, and religious milestones. From its humble beginnings to its present status as a cherished symbol of Scotland’s religious and cultural heritage, St Giles’ Cathedral remains a timeless beacon of faith, history, and architectural splendour.