Located near the geographical center of Scotland, Stirling may be a first glance a smaller version of Scotland. Lacking the cosmopolitan gorgeousness of its close neighbors Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling is an appealing place because it boasts in its crag top Stirling Castle steep and cobblestone streets as well as a mixed community of students and tourists. It offers the tourists and visitors the chance to view both a unique and magnificent blend of well preserved history sites and culture within an area of area of natural beauty. It was established in the 1120s and it is the heart of Scottish history. Stirling was witness to one of the most significant developments in the evolution of the Scottish nation.
William Wallace portrayed by Mel Gibson in the movie Brave heart won the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 against the English. Having been the timber structure of the bridge, it crashed under the weight of the British forces. Today, visitors can see the 15th century stone prototype of that famous bridge which was one of the best examples of bridges from that era. Stirling's golden age was very successful in the town from the 15th to the 18th centuries. And this town, especially Stirling Castle was the favorite residence of the Stuart monarchy and the setting for the coronation in 1543 of young Mary, future Queen of Scots. During the Jacobie Rebellion in 1715, Stirling was once again besieged as a place of strategic importance.
Nowadays, Stirling is known for its castle and its lofty Wallace Monument which is a five story freestanding building in 1860 as a tribute as a tribute too Sir William Wallace This titanic Victorian monolith has become a pilgrimage for admirers of both William Wallace and of Mel Gibson's Oscar winning film Brave heart. Climbing the 246 spiral staircase visitors can admire the wonder view from the top.
Exhibits inside the tower include a 700 year old two headed sword used by Wallace which is 66 inches in length, and the Hall of Scottish Heroes which is a row of white marble busts like John Knox and Adam Smith as well as a life size talking model of a taking of William Wallace.
Sitting on a volcanic rock rising 250 meters from the surrounding valley, Scotland's finest medieval Stirling Castle looks down on some of the most famous battle ground in Scottish history. Its impregnability is absolutely obvious. Although the first fortification of the rock was done in the Iron Age in the 11th century, much of Stirling Castle that exists today, including the Palace and the Chapel Royal is wonderful Renaissance architecture with a strong French influence. The exterior of the palace which is the largest part of the building dates back from 1540 to 1542. It is a three story building with an orange façade of tall windows and niches which contains ugly craved statues and Renaissance sculptures. Inside the royal apartments are the Stirling heads which are 56 eloquent carved oak medallions which once made up the ceiling of the Presence Chamber. Stirling Castle is widely regarded as the best example of architecture of that period in Europe. Another Renaissance architecture work is the Chapel Royal built in 1594 by James the sixth for the baptism of his son. The interior is filled with a seventeenth century fresco created with many scrolls and pattern is wonderful. Here you will se the representative of the end of the Middle Ages which is the vast Great Hall.
In its long and bloody history, Stirling Castle has been bloodied and besieged sixteen times. Many events from Scotland's History took place at Stirling Castle. Therefore, make sure you make enough time to see the castle property.