The Scott Monument
It makes me more then just a little bit proud that this is the largest monument to a writer anywhere in the world. The Scott Monument was built in Victorian times to commemorate Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. Not just impressive to look at on the outside, you can take the 287 steps to the top of the monument to admire the view of Edinburgh from 61 metres up. The design of the monument is inspired by Melrose Abbey and Roslin Chapel and was officially finished in 1846.
What makes the monument even more outstanding is the statues of characters from Sir Walter Scott's novels that are carved into the stone.
This is a little dog with a big reputation. The statue of Bobby is one of the most iconic and most visited monuments in Edinburgh. The story is a heartbreaking one, so get your tissues at the ready.
Bobby's master was a night watchman who upon his death was buried in the graveyard at Greyfriars Kirk. Local stories have it that Bobby was so loyal to his master that he stood watch at his master's grave for 14 years until his own death in 1872.
Bobby was buried inside the graveyard gate, not far from his Master's grave and the people of Edinburgh were so taken with his story that they erected a statue and small fountain in his honour near the Church.
An unexpected and often under-appreciated statue, the Ross Fountain is located within Princes Street Gardens. Built in the 19th Century by a French iron worker, the fountain's first tier depicts mermaids, shells and lion heads- a rather odd pairing.
Two interesting facts about the fountain is that all of the figures in the statue are women, and secondly the statue was actually on display in London before being bought and gifted to the city by a local gun maker called Daniel Ross.
Lion of Scotland
Carved from Aberdeenshire pink granite and weighing in at 20 tonnes, the Lion of Scotland is on loan to the city and currently resides in St Andrews Square. The statue was completely hand carved and resided near Scottish parliament before moving to its current location in 2010. Sculptor Ronald Rae is the man behind the piece of art, which is on loan to Essential Edinburgh on a yearly contract. I think if they ever tried to take our beloved lion away, Edinburgh locals would rebel.
The Melville Monument is one of the statues I remember most from my first visit to Edinburgh. Sitting proudly in the centre of St Andrews Square, I remember having a picnic dinner in the square with my sister before we headed to the Military Tattoo.
The Monument was built in 1823 in memory of Henry Dundas, the Viscount of Melville. Apparently Henry Dundas was a bit of an important man and had a few nicknames, including King Henry the 9th. The monument is 42.6 metres in height and weighs 1500 tonnes. An interesting fact about the monument is that its construction was entrusted to Robert Stevenson- the grandfather of famous author Robert Louis Stevenson.
Prince Albert Statue
This beautiful statue was built shortly after the death of Prince Albert, in a private garden square named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria's first daughter Charlotte. The statue was commissioned in 1865 and features Prince Albert in his Field Marshall's uniform sat on a horse.
Charlotte Square is a private garden for the residents of the buildings surrounding the square, however every year the Edinburgh International Book Festival opens the gardens for a fantastic book festival in August. An interesting fact about the Square is that in 1939 a large air-raid shelter was constructed in the south side of the gardens.