Arthrur's Seat, view from the Castle

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Arthrur's Seat, view from the Castle ( 480x640 )
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Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh is the main peak of the hills creating most of the Holyrood Park. It rises above the city and offers a beautiful panoramic view. It is reachable only by walking, however, it is easy and popular walk. It rises to the height of 251 metres above the city.

The rock was formed by an extinct volcano system in Carboniferous age that was eroded by a glacier, the other parts are the Castle Rock and Calton Hill. From some angles, the hill looks like sleeping lion. There are also three lochs in Holyrood Park: St. Margaret's, Duddingston and Dunsapie.

The name of the hill is probably a derivation of many legends about King Arthur. A poem exists; Y Gododdin, it was written about 600 AD and there is probably the first reference to Arthur and it is possible that his fame might have led to one of the hill-forts and hence the hill being named after him. On the other hand, it could be corruption of Ard-na-Said, a Gaelic phrase meaning “Height of the Arrows” – Archer’s Seat, as the rock was probably a place where archers were sitting when defending the city in the Middle Ages.

Two stony banks on the east side of the hill represent the remains of an Iron Age hill-fort and a series of cultivation terraces are obvious above the road just beyond. There were seventeen small wooden coffins found in 1836 in a small cave. Their existence has never been satisfactory explained.
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