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Edinburgh's City Guide

St Giles' Cathedral

One of the oldest churches in the city, St Giles’ Cathedral was founded in the 1120s and served as the church of John Knox during the Reformation. It is nicknamed the Cradle of Presbyterianism and is has some stunning architectural and decorative features that can be enjoyed by everybody, religious or not.

One of the highlights of St. Giles’ is the beautifully maintained stained glass windows and it is also home to a stunning Rieger organ, which arrived in 1992. In 1911 the famous Thistle Chapel, home of the Knights of the Order of the Thistle became part of the cathedral. The Order of the Thistle was Scotland’s greatest order of chivalry and their chapel was designed by famous Edinburgh architect, Robert Lorimer.

St. Giles’ is well located on the Royal Mile, sitting conveniently halfway between the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle. Visitors can enjoy guided tours by volunteer guides and any questions you may have will be answered.

The spire of St Giles’ is a recognisable site in Edinburgh and the cathedral shop offers a range of specialist items relating to the cathedral including books and CDs. To use your camera or camcorder in the cathedral you need to obtain a permit from the information desk but once inside the stunning surrounds are so atmospheric you’ll probably want to enjoy them in real time.

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