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Edinburgh’s New Town

The New Town, a central area of Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is often considered to be a masterpiece of city planning. Although still referred to as the New Town, it was built in stages between 1765 and around 1850, and retains much of the original neo-classical period architecture.

Its most famous street is Princes Street, facing Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town across the geographical depression of the former Nor Loch. The Old and New Towns were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

The New Town is home to the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, located on The Mound. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is on Queen Street.

Other notable buildings include the Assembly Rooms on George Street, the Balmoral Hotel (formerly called the North British Hotel, after a railway company) with its landmark clock tower above Waverley Station, and the Scott Monument.

The New Town contains Edinburgh’s main shopping streets. Princes Street is home to many chain shops, as well as Jenners department store, an Edinburgh institution.

George Street, once the financial centre, now has numerous modern bars, many occupying former banking halls, while the new Multrees Walk on St. Andrew’s Square is home to Harvey Nichols and a host of other designer shops.

The St. James Centre, at the east end of the New Town, is an indoor mall completed in 1970. It includes a large branch of John Lewis, designed by Sir Basil Spence.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “New Town, Edinburgh”.

Photo credit: London Road, via Flickr

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