Edinburgh is not only the political capital of Scotland; it is also the cultural capital. The city is home to the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh Castle is not just a standing monument to the rich and active history of the city; it is also home to the National War Museum.
The capital’s art museums and galleries are home to world class art collections. The National Gallery Complex on the Mound is the home to works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, and Scottish artists like Wilkie, and Raeburn. The Gallery of Modern Art and Dean Gallery house modern works by artists like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, and Francis Bacon.
Music and Theatre
The Festival Theatre is home to theatre performances, as well as performances by the Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Ensemble perform at the Queen’s Hall. Live music of every genre can be found at a variety of venues across the city, from jazz ensembles to hip hop DJs.
The real heart of the city’s cultural scene is what the locals refer to as “The Festival.” Every August, it is home to theatre, music, dance, comedy, and authors from around the world as they converge to take part in the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, the Art Festival, the Military Tattoo and the Book Festival all at the same time.
The International Festival has been an international gathering of classical musicians, dancers, and theatre and opera performers since 1947. As the International Festival became more popular, they had to turn away some artists wishing to perform. Some of those artists got together in 1959 to create the Fringe. The Fringe has now grown to dwarf the original Festival that spawned it, hosting art exhibitions, theatre performances, operas and comedians from all over the world. While the International Festival hosts mainly traditional performers, the Fringe features a bit of everything, from Van Gogh exhibits to Shakespeare performed in a bouncy castle.
Edinburgh truly is a city that honours and celebrates culture in every form.
Image by DWP – Fotolia