Inverness

Inverness location in Scotland
Population: 55,000

Inverness sits at the mouth of the River Ness in the north of Scotland. The city is often referred to as the capital of the highlands and it certainly serves as an administrative and service centre.

Inverness was a Pictish settlement and home to the court of King Bridei. It was visited by St Columba in 565AD as he sought to convert the Picts. There is a big castle in Inverness which Robert the Bruce seized in 1307 and just over a hundred years later James I held a parliament there to subdue the northern magnates. In 1652 Cromwell built a citadel here by the river which later developed into the first Fort George. In 1746 the Jacobites were defeated once for all at Culloden near Inverness. In 1822 the newly built Caledonian Canal linked Inverness to the West of Scotland.

In addition to the castle there are a number of churches in Inverness and even a cathedral which is dedicated to St Andrew. The city was an important centre for boat building and fishing and still has a thriving harbour.

Inverness only gained city status in 2001 after being chosen as one of the "Millenium Cities". The city is now popular with tourists and has a museum and lots of bars, restaurants and hotels.