Old Town, Edinburgh

Old Town, Edinburgh
UNESCO World Heritage site
Old Town from Princes Street.JPG
The Old Town seen from Princes Street
LocationEdinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Part ofOld and New Towns of Edinburgh
CriteriaCultural: (ii)(iv)
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
Coordinates55°56′51.26″N 3°11′29.87″W / 55°56′51.26″N 3°11′29.87″W / 55.9475722; -3.1916306
Old Town, Edinburgh is located in Edinburgh
Old Town, Edinburgh
Location of Old Town, Edinburgh in Edinburgh.
Old Town, Edinburgh is located in Scotland
Old Town, Edinburgh
Old Town, Edinburgh (Scotland)
Old Town, Edinburgh is located in the United Kingdom
Old Town, Edinburgh
Old Town, Edinburgh (the United Kingdom)
Map of the city centre, showing the Old Town (dark brown), New Town (mid brown), and the West End (orange), with the World Heritage Site indicated by the red line
Cockburn Street in Edinburgh

The Old Town (Scots: Auld Toun) is the name popularly given to the oldest part of Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. The area has preserved much of its medieval street plan and many Reformation-era buildings. Together with the 18th/19th-century New Town, it forms part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1]

Royal Mile

The "Royal Mile" is a name coined in the early 20th century for the main street of the Old Town which runs on a downwards slope from Edinburgh Castle to both Holyrood Palace and the ruined Holyrood Abbey. Narrow closes (alleyways), often no more than a few feet wide, lead steeply downhill to both north and south of the main spine which runs west to east.

Notable buildings in the Old Town include St. Giles' Cathedral, the General Assembly Hall of the Church of Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland, the Old College of the University of Edinburgh and the Scottish Parliament Building. The area has a number of underground vaults and hidden passages that are relics of previous phases of construction.

No part of the street is officially called The Royal Mile in terms of legal addresses. The actual street names (running west to east) are Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canongate and Abbey Strand.[2]