A Tiny History of a Big City

Sitting neatly on the south side of the Firth of Forth, the Scottish capital city—Edinburgh—has a population of around half a million. Edinburgh is the quintessential ‘mountain from a molehill’ story because it started life as a hill fort, largely influenced by Germanic and Celtic influences.  As a small settlement Edinburgh joined the Kingdom of Scotland somewhere during the tenth century and into the Middle Ages grew beyond measure. By the time of James VI’s reign Edinburgh was established as the capital city of Scotland. The more formative periods in the history of Edinburgh were during the sixteenth century Scottish Reformation and in the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.

During the later part 1700’s Edinburgh became split by the class system when the business and professional classes headed for the modern and newer part of Edinburgh. Its traditional industries of brewing, distilling and printing continued growing rapidly and with the addition of engineering and rubber works Edinburgh was one of the most productive cities in the Union. Prior to this, during the first half the century Edinburgh was budded as one of the dirtiest cities in the whole of Europe because of its dense population and mingling of the classes. The tenement buildings were split into higher rent and lower rent with store keepers and trades men lived in the lower rent basement apartments and the more well-to-do lived in the middle and upper levels.  To clean up the city the rich took off and set up home elsewhere, leaving the tenement blocks to the working class.

Other trades and Professions
Edinburgh is quite a melting pot of opportunity and enterprise. Because of its placement it is close to the sea, for those who work near or on the water or in professions connected to the water. It also boasts one of the best brewing and distilling businesses in the entire world, with some of the most famous whiskies coming out of Scotland. On top of that there are locksmiths in Edinburgh, Telecommunications experts in Edinburgh and glaziers in Edinburgh as well as more or less every other occupation you can think of.  Edinburgh was founded on a mish-mash of influences and historic references, so it’s no surprise that is has so much to offer.

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