Stirling castle sits on a rocky crag above the first location where medieval and earlier armies could cross the Firth River and so was of great strategic significance. William Wallace and Robert the Bruce fought and won two battles for Scottish independence over superior English forces. A statue of Robert looks down into the valley.
Much of the current castle is a Renaissance wonder built by the Scottish king James V, whose son James VI would become James I of England, Wales and Scotland, the first to hold that title. The orange colored Great Hall contrasts sharply with the gray rocks of the rest of the site. The castle was closed when we arrived to clean and salt the stone walkways for visitors because of the spring snow storm, something I don't think they did in the 16th century.
The palace outer wall had stone figures carved into niches of King James and mythic figures. These were colorfully painted. The interior of the palace sought to convey James’s power. The ceiling was filled the oak carved medallions showing royalty and courtiers colorfully painted.
Other rooms sought to further convey the royal power. The Queen Mary de Guise bed chamber was surrounded by tapestries of the Scottish symbol of the unicorn. The original of these tapestries are now in The Cloisters in Manhattan.
By the time we were ready to leave, the sun was out and the snow melted.
By the time we were ready to leave, the sun was out and snow melted.