If ever you have the chance to visit this gorgeous place, you will not regret it. Rosslyn Chapel is full of incredible history and the detail in the stonework is unbelievable.
Some of my favorite spots…
Sitting at the front of the Chapel are two pillars. According to a legend dating back to the 18th century, the master mason in charge of the stonework in the chapel had completed work on the first pillar and decided to travel in the hopes of finding inspiration for the second. While he was gone, his apprentice had a dream about the pillar and completed it on his own before his master returned. Upon his return, the master mason flew into a fit of rage and hit his apprentice in the head with a mallet, killing him. As punishment for his crime, the master’s face was carved into stone so he could forever gaze upon what is now known as the ‘Apprentice Pillar’.
Forte est vinum fortiori est rex fortiores sunt mulieres super omnia vincit veritas. Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all.
The Seven Virtues: Helping the Needy, Clothing the Naked, Looking After the Sick, Visiting Prisoners, Charity is transposed with the deadly sin of Greed (it is unknown if the two were deliberately switched as a reminder of the potential for good within evil, and evil within good), Feeding the Hungry & Burying the Dead
The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride, Gluttony, Greed is transposed with the Virtue of Charity, Anger, Envy, Sloth, Lust
The fallen angel, Lucifer, is seen hanging upside down and bound with rope.
Surrounding one of the windows are carvings of ‘maize’ or Indian Corn. The presence of this plant carving in the Chapel raises many questions. Not only is it an exotic plant, it originates from North America, a country traditionally thought to have been discovered by Columbus in 1492, almost 50 years after Rosslyn Chapel was built.
I wanted to start off this section of the blog with a piece about one of my favorite cities I visited a year ago. My parents were scheduled to work in Italy and Scotland for a few weeks and I could not let them go on such an amazing trip without me. Although we only stayed in Scotland for a few days, it was an unforgettable trip that left me wanting more.
We stayed at the beautiful Caledonian Hotel (opened in 1903) in Edinburgh, which had the most incredible view of Edinburgh Castle from our window. Not ones to waste any time, we dropped off our bags and headed off to see the castle before they closed down for the night.
There is so much history within the walls of this castle as well as the rock it sits upon that absolutely fascinate my inner nerd. One of the oldest buildings within the castle walls and in all of Edinburgh is St. Margaret’s Chapel. Dating back to the 12th century, it was first used as a private chapel for the royal family and since then, has been used to store gunpowder and hold weddings. The most unexpected sight, was the Dog Cemetery (yes, you read that right) that has been in use since Queen Victoria’s reign, dedicated to the dogs belonging to officers and regimental mascots.
The next morning, we hopped on a city bus for most stunning 30 minute ride to Rosslyn Chapel where again, my inner nerd was screaming and jumping for joy (there is really so much to say that I will cover it in another post). If the name is familiar, you may have caught a brief glimpse of it in The Da Vinci Code (the book also mentioned the American University of Paris, where I studied during my freshman year).
After our journey back to Edinburgh, we spent the rest of the day walking through the city, tasting Scotch, eating one of many steak and ale pies, listening to bagpipers, drinking Hot Toddy’s (drink this when sick!), and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures.
Tea time at Peacock Alley back at the hotel was meant to be a relaxing time for us to munch on a few goodies while enjoying a cup of hot tea after running around in the cold and rain all day. We underestimated the amount of goodies that would accompany our tea. And when you are sick and can’t breathe properly, tossing too many of these goodies in your mouth at once while joking around with your dad isn’t the smartest idea. I did manage to make my dad laugh so hard he cried (my mum had never even witnessed this before) which made my minor choke fest absolutely worth it.
On our last day in the city, we spent a few hours doing nothing but shopping for tartans and visiting one of the factories. I was so in love with every pattern, cloak, and scarf and would have taken it all with me if I could have. Sadly, I currently live in Texas where it really doesn’t get cold. For once, I wanted to be back in Canada.
I did not want to leave our hotel for a few reasons: the view, the food, and the concierge. Think of the absolute sweetest man you’ve ever met and put him in tartan pants. I liked this man so much I had to get a quick picture with him on our way out. When I asked my dad to wait, that my nose itched, he took the picture anyway. So this moment is the one I have to remember now. Thanks for the laughs, dad.
Where did we go to eat in Edinburgh? Pubs, of course. Drink of choice? Scotch! Lots and lots of scotch.