In a typical European medieval town, its castle lay at its heart. In Edinburgh, however, its castle is its head — the head of a fish, to be more precise. The Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh that spills from the castle forms a sort of spine of the fish to which many closes (alleys) are connected.
And although Edinburgh has evolved over the centuries, much of the Old Town looks like one imagines it might have centuries ago, like something you might have even seen in Harry Potter.
Like many of its contemporaries, Edinburgh castle has seen its share of cycles, having been destroyed, rebuilt, only to be destroyed and rebuilt again. It seems the nature of Scotland's history, its past filled with fierce battles for independence and clan rivalry.
Buildings have come and gone, but the castle remains, with the town having expanded and evolved around it. In this way, Edinburgh Castle is both the city's head and its heart.
Open up the panorama below to full screen and enjoy being in the middle of Edinburgh Castle — Crown Square to be exact — for a brief moment. If you find some resemblance between the castle's architecture and the world of Harry Potter, that's no coincidence. J.K. Rowling began calling Edinburgh home only a few months into the first book of the series.
Panorama: Edinburgh Castle's Crown Square