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Holyrood Abbey ruins

Travel Photo: Holyrood Abbey Ruins

The romantic Holyrood Abbey ruins at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh are a stark reminder that time and historic events can destroy the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Holyrood Abbey’s name refers to “Holy Cross” as “rood” is an Old English word for “cross” – referring to the one Jesus was crucified upon.

Founded in 1128 by King David I of Scotland, the abbey was the home to the Canons Regular, and used as a parish church until the tumultuous 17th century (Glorious Revolution). Into the 18th and 19th centuries it slowly deteriorated despite talks of restoration.

Located by Holyrood Palace, this impressive abbey was the scene of many royal coronations (James II, Margaret Tudor, Mary of Guise, Anne of Denmark and Charles I) and weddings, as well as burials (many of which were destroyed after the Glorious Revolution in 1688.

During our visit in 2012, I took this photo of the nave, wanting to capture the impressive window against a blue sky. I was wondering what the stained glass may have looked like as the morning sun would have filtered through it.

Access to the ruins is offered via a tour of Holyrood Palace, which is an impressive building, full of history.

Holyrood Abbey is located at the eastern end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Holyrood Abbey

Fine stone details at the ruins at Holyrood Abbey

Have you visited the Holyrood Abbey ruins? What did you feel when visiting the grounds?