Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
victory at Trafalgar in 1805. ( ; Calton Hill; admission £4;
10am-7pm Mon-Sat & noon-5pm Sun Apr-Sep, 10am-3pm Mon-Sat Oct-Mar;
all Leith St buses)
Hotbed of Genius
Although Edinburgh declined in political importance following the Act of Union in 1707, its
cultural and intellectual life flourished. During the period now called the Scottish Enlightenment
(roughly 1740-1830), Edinburgh became known as 'a hotbed of genius', famed throughout
Europe for its great philosophers, scientists and artists. In 1762 no less a figure than Voltaire de-
clared that 'today it is from Scotland that we get rules of taste in all the arts, from epic poetry to
Enlightenment Edinburgh was home to philosopher David Hume, author of the influential
Treatise On Human Nature, and political economist Adam Smith, who wrote The Wealth of Na-
tions . Medic William Cullen produced the first modern pharmacopoeia, chemist Joseph Black
advanced the science of thermodynamics, and geologist James Hutton challenged long-held be-
liefs about the age of the earth. Publisher William Smellie established the Encyclopaedia Britan-
nica, and architect Robert Adam emerged as Britain's greatest exponent of neoclassicism.
7 National Monument
The largest structure on the summit of Calton Hill, the National Monument was a rather
over-ambitious attempt to replicate the Parthenon, and was intended to honour Scotland's
dead in the Napoleonic Wars. Construction (paid for by public subscription) began in
1822 but funds ran dry when only 12 columns had been erected. It became known locally
as 'Edinburgh's Disgrace'. (Calton Hill)
8 Old Calton Burial Ground
One of Edinburgh's many atmospheric old cemeteries, Old Calton is a peaceful retreat just
a short stroll from the east end of Princes St. It's dominated by the tall black obelisk of the
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