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Edinburgh New Parliament Bldg

(In Edinburgh now)
Being a bit of a political geek, I wanted to see the new parliment building in Edinburgh after reading so much about the political situation over the last few years. It's been controversial as contemporary architecture often is. Our breakfast cafe owner described it as a "Fred Flintstone house." We quite liked it though, inside and out, and found it inspiring and forward-looking. If you want an experience of current-day Scotland, seeing this building and learning the history of the Scotland's journey back to a national parliament will bring you out of the past. There were a number of school groups touring while we were there, and I heard one mother discussing how important it was that the Scottish people had their own representatives in Holyrood. It took me back to a memory of my own mother taking my sister and me to Washington D.C. where we visited our senator and observed the Senate in session. An important civics lesson for me and for the children I saw today. Tours are offered to the public, but we weren't able to manage one. However, there are excellent displays and members of the public are able to view the public areas of the building, including the hall where parliament meets. I'd say this is well worth an hour or two if you're interested in government or architecture.

Posted by
6902 posts

Visiting in the spring of 1999, it was just a construction zone behind chain-link fence. Seeing the outside of the completed building during our visit last summer, it was impressive. The tiles with impressions of leaves were certainly unique. We didn't go inside, but spent some time in the plaza out front, where we discovered a camera that another tourist had left on one of the concrete block benches. It took just a little effort to find a police officer so we could turn in the camera to lost & found.

Posted by
5677 posts

You are probably not surprised to hear that I took the tour. :) And it is wonderful! There also sorts of interesting stories. One of the funnier ones, is that inside the debating chamber there are these cut outs of wood on the walls. The architect said that they are representative of the people of Scotland keeping a proper eye on their parliament. But, everyone thinks that they are whisky bottles. Also, you have to appreciate the location--looking straight into Holyrood and keeping an eye on the Queen too! It's been a while since I did the tour. You're making me want to revisit.