National Monument

Don’t like hot weather but you do like Greek architecture? Perfect, you don’t have to spend your time sweating in Greece to enjoy this! For many reasons Edinburgh is called the Athens of the North but one monument especially contributed to this name: the National Monument of Scotland on Calton Hill.


Architects Charles Cockerall and William Playfair designed it inspired by the Parthenon of Athens as a memorial to the fallen during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1826 the work on this ambitious project began. Ambitious not only because of its size, but also because of its costs: an estimated £ 42,000 had to be paid for this project. Unfortunately, construction started before all of the money was raised, so only three years later the fund was empty and the dream of Edinburgh’s very own Parthenon was over.

Up to this day Edinburgh’s Disgrace consists of the base and only 12 massive columns. Although only half-finished, the monument still is an impressive sight. And when the sky turns dark and intimidating, to release its next burst of rain, you can almost see Hercules or even Zeus coming down from Mount Olympus to have a look at the Athens of the North.

Eva Seuken