|Area: 260 kmē|
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and its second-largest city.
It is situated on the east coast of Scotland's central lowlands on the south shore of the Firth of Forth on the North sea and forms the City of Edinburgh council area. (The city council area includes urban Edinburgh and more rural areas.) It has been the capital of Scotland since 1437 and is the seat of the country's devolved government. The city was one of the major centres of the enlightenment (see Scottish Enlightenment), led by the University of Edinburgh. The Old Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. In the census of 2001, Edinburgh had a total resident population of approximately 440,000, making it the 7th largest city in the United Kingdom.
Edinburgh is well-known for the annual Edinburgh Festival, actually a collection of independent festivals held annually over about four weeks from early August, when the population of the city doubles. The most famous of these events are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Another famous event is the Hogmanay street party.
The city is one of Europe's major tourist destinations, attracting roughly 13 million visitors a year, and is the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London.
The origin of the city's name is understood to come from the Brythonic Din Eidyn (Fort of Eidyn) from the time when it was a Gododdin hillfort.
In the 1st century the Romans recorded the Votadini as a Brythonic tribe in the area, and about 600 the poem Y Gododdin, using the Brythonic form of that name, describes warriors feasting "in Eidin's great hall".
After it was besieged by the Bernician Angles the name changed to Edin-burh, which some have argued derives from the Anglo-Saxon for "Edwin's fort", possibly derived from the 7th century king Edwin of Northumbria. However, since the name apparently predates King Edwin, this is highly unlikely. The burgh element means "fortress" or "group of buildings", i.e. a town or city and is akin to the German burg, Latin parcus, Greek pyrgos etc.
The first evidence of the existence of the town as a separate entity from the fort lies in an early 12th century royal charter, generally thought to date from 1124, by King David I granting land to the Church of the Holy Rood of Edinburgh. This suggests that the town came into official existence between 1018 (when King Malcolm II secured the Lothians from the Northumbrians) and 1124.
Edinburgh is clearly labeled on this T and O map from ca. 1300. (North lies roughly in the direction of the upper left corner.)The charter refers to the recipients (in Latin) as "Ecclisie Sancte Crucis Edwinesburgensi". This could mean that those who drafted the charter believed Edwin to be the original source of the name and decided to derive the Latinisation from what they believed to be the ancient name. It could also mean that at some point in the preceding 600 years the name had altered to include a w. If the latter scenario was the case then it was soon to change; by the 1170s King William the Lion was using the name "Edenesburch" in a charter (again in Latin) confirming the 1124 grant of David I.
Documents from the 14th century show the name to have settled into its current form; although other spellings ("Edynburgh" and "Edynburghe") appear, these are simply spelling variants of the current name.