What do you know about the home of the kilt and castles? Scotland is full of romantic and mysterious stories! Here are some of them!
Yew in the Scottish village of Fortingall
One of the oldest trees in Europe grows almost in the heart of Scotland – in the courtyard of the Church of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire. The well-known yew in the Scottish village of Fortingall is not less than 2 thousand years (some scientists consider it is more than 2 thousand years old: up to 5 thousand). The place around this village is amazing archaeological zone where the foundation of the 1300- year- old monastery was discovered.
This Yew is interesting not only because of its age, but also due to the folklore that enveloped this ancient tree. Yews are an integral part of the landscape of countless British churches gardens – for centuries the trees were planted along the base of the churches. Since the church, much later, appeared alongside this legendary tree, the researchers believe that the yew was the”core” of pagan rituals long before Christianity came to Perthshire. In addition, legend has it that the judge and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate, who sentenced Jesus to be crucified, was born under a tree and played in the shadow of the yew in the childhood.
Today, the tree is severely damaged and it even has a little trim for the sake of being saved from destruction. But all this does not matter much, because the yew still stands in the heart of Scotland, reminding visitors of the sanctity of the ancient trees. It is very popular, a lot of stories are devoted to it and young students even havethis yew as the subject matter of their college paper.
40% of ginger-heads
It is said that in the last hundred years the red-haired people have disappeared from the planet. This hearing is the result of an incorrect interpretation of the Professor of the University of Bradford in The Daily Mail magazine. In the article, he said that due to migration and intermarriage people with red hair may disappear. But in fact, he had in mind that this number can only be reduced, but they will not disappear completely.
The largest number of people with “red gene” live in the south-east of Scotland – where they account for about 40 percent of the entire world’s population. Red pigment is usually associated with the presence of very pale skin, and that type is mostly found in the far north, where the weather is often cloudy. People need a significant amount of vitamin D, and the red, as a rule, get it more than people with all other types of skin, after even the slightest contact with the sunlight. That means that such snow-white skin of people of the north is very sensitive to sunlight, and thus “absorbs” a lot of sun.
Last year there was the first red Parade in Edinburgh. It is positioned as the first British Procession of the ginger-heads, and was part of the Edinburgh Art Festival “Fringe.”
Val or Hadrian’s Wall is the most outstanding monument of antiquity in Scotland and the UK. The history of the fortifications is rooted in the distant years 122-126 AD. The wall was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, to reinforce the border of the Roman possessions and defend the state from the raids of the Picts, and Brigantes from the north.
The wall stretches 117 kilometers along the borders of England and Scotland. The construction width is 3 m, height is 5-6 meters. The val is intended exclusively for guard duty.
The ruins of the walls were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Under the streets of the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, there is a series of underground chambers, which today is called the Edinburgh vaults. Strangely, these cellars were not the part of the city streets ( they were secret tunnels for transporting prohibited goods) up to the construction of present. The cellars are located under the south bridge, which connects the two slopes – South Side and the Old Town. This street, with a bridge, was built as a merchant spot in 1788.
Over time, the street and the bridge became populated by shops and cellars and storerooms that were located underneath. As a result of a shortage of air in basements and waterproofing, the street was hit hard and the storerooms had to be abandoned. Thus, legitimate businesses moved out from there, and the illegal trade was formed in its place.
Deeper cellars were closed and began to be used in very different ways – from the underground pubs to illegal housing for poor immigrants. At the end of 1800, cameras have been abandoned and rediscovered only in 1988 for research.
Today, Edinburgh Cellars evoke fear in many people – it is considered that they are haunted. Legend tells of the infamous West killers William Burke and William Burke, Irish immigrants. During the 1827-1828 years, they carried out 16 murders for the purpose of income: they sold the corpses of their victims as a material for anatomy dissection to a famous Scottish surgeon.