Edinburgh Scotland about 1892

Scott's Monument Edinburgh

EDINBURGH AND SCOTT’S MONUMENT — Not another capital in Europe save Athens, which it somewhat resembles, compares with Edinburgh in situation, and the Scotch have made the place well worthy of its fine position. On one side is Carlton Hill, rising three hundred feet above the town, and opposite this about a mile away is the old historic Castle. Between them extends the beautiful avenue called Princes’ Street, bordered by handsome buildings, parks and monuments. Among the many attractive sights in this old Scottish city, and rising in the center of this picture, is the elegant memorial of Sir Walter Scott, who was born in Edinburgh on the 15th of August, 1771. The statues in its various niches represent characters taken from his works, such as Meg Merrilies, the Last Minstrel, and the Lady of the Lake. In the center, open on all sides to inspection, is a colossal marble statue of Sir Walter, and at the feet of one so fond of dogs is appropriately placed the figure of his favorite hound, Bevis. This monument is certainly one of the finest ever reared to a man of genius. Its graceful arches recall in miniature the groined roofs of Melrose Abbey. All parts of it are beautifully carved. A stairway of about 280 steps leads to the top. The cost of this great work was about $80,000, and its design was furnished by a young architect of Edinburgh, who did not live to see the monument completed. It is a touching proof of the love which Scotland felt for Sir Walter, that subscriptions for this grand memorial poured in from all classes and conditions of his countrymen. It was the gift of a Nation; and while on the subscription list may be seen “100 Pounds from her Majesty the Queen,” we may likewise read, “Three pounds, seven shillings from the poor people of the Cow Gate.” (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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