St Andrews

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St Andrews

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GPS N56.336715°,W2.798939°
St Andrews is a small town located by the North Sea in the south east of Scotland in the Royal borough of Fife. It was named after the apostle St Andrew who became the saint patron of Scotland. In past it was the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland. The population of St Andrews is around 15,000.

The site of present day St Andrews had been occupied since the 6th century. Pictish stronghold might have stood here. It became a bishopric in the 9th century. However, until the 12th or 13th century the settlement was known under the different names (Kilrymont or Muckross). Legend says that the name was changed after Saint Regulus, the bishop of Patras, Achaea, was guided hither bearing the relics of Saint Andrew and the Pictish king Angus MacFergus gave him a tract of land called the "Boar's Raik". And then the name of the spot was changed to "St Andrews". The town was created a royal burgh in 1124. St Andrews became one of the most important ports in the 16th century. However, it fell into decay after the Scottish Reformation and the English Civil War. This remained so until late 19th century. Fortunately, in the 1960s the town was revitalized by growth in the university and the growing popularity of golf.

St Andrews is as well the university place, with the oldest university in Scotland and third oldest in the Great Britain after Oxford and Cambridge. It was formed in 1410 by Lawrence of Lindores, abbot of Scone, Richard Cornwall, archdeacon of Lothian, William Stephenson, afterwards bishop of Dunblane, and a few others. In 1413 Avignon Pope Benedict XIII issued six bulls confirming the charter and constituting the society a university. William, Prince of Wales studied here.

St Andrews is also known in the golf world. Some of the finest golf courses in the world are located here. In 1754 Royal and Ancient Golf Club was found here and the oldest of golf’s four major championships – The Open Championship is held in St Andrews as well.

The most notable sights in St Andrews are St Andrews Cathedral built in 1318, unfortunately in ruins now, together with St Rule’s Tower that predates it; castle standing on a rocky promontory, Parish Church of the Holy Trinity (town church) or the Chapel of the Blackfriars. Moreover it has beautiful sandy beaches and cliffs that attract beside tourists also filmmakers of many romantic films.

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