The Historic Stirling Castle in Central Scotland
One of Scotland’s largest and most significant castles, the imposing Stirling Castle is famous both for its architecture and its rich history. It is located in Stirling, the largest city in Central Scotland, UK, and it dominates the landscape from a strategic position on Castle Hill. Steep rocky cliffs flank it on three sides, giving it an excellent defensive advantage, but that is not actually relevant anymore. It used to be, however, a key feature back in the Middle Ages.
Until the 1890s, its location also marked and guarded the most distant downstream crossing of the River Forth. This too contributed to the fortification’s importance ever since it was built. So when was it built? Even though there are evidence of even earlier settlements on the cliff and its surrounding areas, most of the castle’s important surviving buildings were erected between 15th and 16th centuries, and others date back to the 14th century. Some of them were actually built specifically for one-time events, such as James VI’s Chapel Royal, which was created for Prince Henry’s baptism. It was then further decorated in 1633 for Charles I’s coronation visit.
A number of Kings and Queens were crowned at the castle, and the royals lived lavish lives inside its sturdy defense walls. It is today a great symbol of Scottish Independence, and it tells fascinating stories of royal plots, intrigue, passions and even luxury fashion. It will amaze you with stunning craftsmanship, superb decorations, and overwhelming riches.
One of the highlights at Stirling Castle includes James IV’s Great Hall, which was Scotland’s largest medieval banqueting rooms. You must also take time to admire the intricately decorated James V’s Palace with beautiful Renaissance facades, the Great Kitchens, the Palace Vaults, the Regimental Museum, the Gardens, and pretty much everything else. The entire site is remarkable, which explains why it is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, meaning that the castle is protected by law against unauthorized alterations. Stirling Castle is undoubtedly a must-see destination in Scotland.