Sir Walter Scott Monument in Edinburgh

The #FriFotos* theme this week is shapes. As per usual, I close my eyes and focus on the first thing that pops up. This time, it’s the fabulously Gothic Scott monument in Edinburgh.

Sir Walter Scott Monument, Edinburgh

Wandering along Princes’ Street, Edinburgh’s main thoroughfare, you can’t help but gaze upon this grandiose structure (or bump into it, if you like to walk and read at the same time, as I do). At first you might think it’s an alien aircraft, a space ship, left here on Tellus for unknown reasons. Then you have a closer look – and notice that’s it’s dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s most famous sons, author of tomes such as Ivanhoe. And Rob Roy.

Why such a mountainous marker, Sir Walter? Well, he wouldn’t know, would he? The monument was constructed after his death. Unlike many great artists, Scott didn’t have to wait until his death for fame, he was popular during his lifetime. Even the king adored him. A design competition for a monument to this beloved author was held and, interestingly, a self-taught artist submitted the winning entry. I think there’s something very egalitarian and, well, likeable about that.

Here’s the Scott monument from a different angle:
Scott Monument, Edinburgh

Scott Monument practicals

  • The monument is 61 metres tall and located in Princes Street Gardens, opposite Jenners (Edinburgh’s last independent department store, which sadly threw in the towel about 10 years ago, and is now a part of the House of Fraser group)
  • For a modest £4, you can climb the 287 spiral steps to the top for fantastic views of this gorgeous Georgian city.

Does any author (or indeed, any artist) anywhere, have such an ostentatious monument in their honour?

*FriFotos is a weekly Twitter chat where travellers share their favourite photos. Each week has a theme. Have a look at here to see more or to join. Or – you could pop over to Travel Photo Thursday to see cool travel photos over a varied theme.



27 Responses to “Sir Walter Scott Monument in Edinburgh”

  1. Muza-chan 9 January 2014 0813 #

    Great photos 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1936 #

      Thanks, I quite like that first one myself 🙂

  2. [email protected] 9 January 2014 1004 #

    What an interesting monument Sophie. I wasn’t quite expecting one as tall from from your first picture. Bigger is obviously better in Scotland!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1937 #

      Not sure that’s true for Scotland in general, but the Scott monument certainly.

  3. Leigh 9 January 2014 1549 #

    That’s one massive monument. I love the first photo looking up at it. I thought it was a church at first. Also love the fact that a nobody won the design competition.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1938 #

      Loved that particular little titbit, too 🙂

  4. Marcia 9 January 2014 1611 #

    Bravo to the self-taught artist who designed this monument. Ostentatious it definitely is. Wonder how the also-rans looked. I’d never have picked it for a monument though. Looks more like a cathedral.

  5. Marcia 9 January 2014 1613 #

    Your post made me curious enough about the designer that I looked him up. I was sure he would have gone on to design some cathedrals in Europe. Sadly, the poor guy died before the monument was completed.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1939 #

      Sad indeed…

  6. Jackie Smith 9 January 2014 2047 #

    Proof again that the perspective of a photo can tell such different stories! Loved the two photos and thanks for the info on the FriFotos.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1940 #

      My pleasure. The themes often provide fun inspiration, I find.

  7. noel morata 9 January 2014 2132 #

    Aloha Sophie,

    Love the viewpoint from below, gives it a different feel than an ordinary frontal image…monuments are boring unless you play around with different angles and give it a different look from your efforts to bring it alive!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1941 #

      Monuments can indeed be boring. Searching for the curious ones.

  8. budget jan 10 January 2014 0348 #

    A beautiful photo of a beautiful city!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1943 #

      Very photogenic Edinburgh is.

  9. Lovre 10 January 2014 2145 #

    Dear Sophie,

    I must tell you: I am following your excellent site since 2007 and I adore it! I would just like you to write a bit about my Croatia 😀

    Anyway, keep up the good work and keep pumping us with good articles!

    Kindest regards,

    Lovre from Split, Croatia

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1945 #

      You’re right, I haven’t written nearly enough about Croatia. Mostly because I haven’t been there in 6 – 7 years. Much too long.

  10. Adrian Tanase 10 January 2014 2234 #

    First picture looks so big and intimidating .

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1946 #

      Certainly big.

  11. Mette 12 January 2014 1441 #

    I like it – it is fabulous in the mythical sense.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1947 #

      It is 🙂

  12. Abdul Razzak 12 January 2014 1747 #

    Edinburgh has got some really fantastic structures which are old classic style and are a real joy as well as fun to visit. Ofcourse the light burning event is world famous of edinburgh. Cheers on this great post as I really enjoyed the article. Thanks!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1948 #

      Thanks for stopping by. And you mean the torchlight procession at Hogmanay, right?

  13. Wesley 14 January 2014 0549 #

    This sight looks amazing in Edinburgh, definitly a must visit.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 1949 #

      I think so. And besides, you couldn’t miss it, even if you tried.

  14. Adam in London 20 January 2014 0259 #

    I saw this for the first time earlier this month on my first visit to Scotland. Very impressive! Though I unfortunately didn’t mange to see it in the sunshine, so my photos aren’t quite as nice as yours!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 January 2014 1339 #

      More moody, rainy, overcast photos 🙂

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