St. Giles Cathedral


St. Giles Cathedral sits on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle at the top and Holyrood Palace at the bottom. Also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh it is sometimes called the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and John Knox served there as Minister.

The parish church of Edinburgh dates back as far as 854 A.D. and was formally dedicated by the Bishop of St. Andrews in 1243. It was eventually reconsecrated and named after the patron saint of the town, Saint Giles. Many different churches have been built and rebuilt upon the spot of the modern day cathedral. It has also been used for a variety of additional purposes over the years including a police station, a fire station and a school.

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland used to meet here and so did the parliament of Scotland and the town council.

The cathedral boasts some magnificent stained glass windows although they are all fairly modern, there are however many carved ornamentations which date back to medieval times. It is visited by around 400,000 people every year and it is free to enter.


St. Giles Cathedral