What can you expect when you’re standing on Parliament Square? Normally the legislative building. It was once there, placed on the south side of St. Giles’ Cathedral. With the Act of Union, the politicians moved to Westminster, but the area around the Cathedral is still called after the general assembly.
Even before the parliament was constructed, the space near to the Cathedral was used for gatherings. Here John Knox, Scotland’s most important reformer, inflamed the masses. Today, the only remembrance you find of him is a plaque over his grave. In fact, On the place are situated the Mercat Cross, where official announcements were read, as well as statues of the Duke of Buccleuch, King Charles II and James Braidwood. He is famous for founding the world’s first municipal fire service in 1824. Edinburghers are still proud of him.
The square itself is nothing special, but being in Edinburgh, you will cross it to visit the Cathedral or just while strolling along the Royal Mile. After all, it’s good to know its history.