The National Monument of Scotland, prominently located on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, is an iconic and striking structure inspired by the Parthenon in Athens. Built to commemorate Scottish soldiers and sailors who died in the Napoleonic Wars, its construction began in 1826 but was never completed due to a lack of funds, resulting in its nickname, “Scotland’s Disgrace.”

Despite its incomplete status, the National Monument is a captivating site, with its twelve imposing columns offering a glimpse of what could have been a grand neoclassical structure. Visitors often climb its steps to enjoy the impressive vantage point it provides, offering panoramic views over Edinburgh, including the city’s skyline, Arthur’s Seat, and the Firth of Forth.

Calton Hill itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to several other notable monuments and structures, such as the Nelson Monument and the Dugald Stewart Monument. The area is perfect for leisurely walks, picnics, and photography, especially during sunrise or sunset when the light casts a magical glow over the city.

Visitors can also explore the nearby Collective Gallery, housed in the restored City Observatory, which offers contemporary art exhibitions and a café with stunning views. The National Monument and its surroundings provide a unique blend of historical significance, architectural intrigue, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit spot in Edinburgh.

Other adventures for your Great Scenic Journeys collection?