The country of Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, bordering England to the south and the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The word Scotland comes from name Scoti, given to the
Gaelic people by the Romans who constructed
Hadrian's Wall to control the tribes on the border.
In 1603 King James VI of Scotland inherited the throne of England, but Scotland remained an
independent state until 1707 when the governments of Scotland and England entered a political union despite widespread opposition.
Scotland still has a separate legal system, and a
Scottish Parliament was created in 1999. Scotland has its own language,
Scottish Gaelic, though it is spoken by only 1% of the population. The dialect,
Scots, is much more common.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, it is a picturesque city with a spectacular, rugged setting and a vast collection of
medieval and Georgian architecture. The world-famous
Edinburgh Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival feature theatre, music, comedy, cinema and more, and constitute the largest arts festival in the world. The
Edinburgh Tattoo is a dramatic display of traditional bagpipe music and fireworks.
Hogmanay is a four-day New Year celebration of
processions, concerts, fireworks and
street parties, attracting three hundred thousand people every year. Edinburgh also has an abundance of museums, galleries, and theatres.
Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland. It is situated
on the River Clyde in the west of the country. It has been a settlement since pre-historic times and today is a centre of industry, commerce and
shipping. Glasgow is also rich in culture with many theatres, galleries and live music, and it is known for its
blend of historical and modern architecture. The famous comedian
Billy Connolly comes from Glasgow. The two football teams,
Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers are renowned for their bitter rivalry.