Portal:Scotland

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THE SCOTLAND PORTAL

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Royal Arms of Scotland.svg
Scotland in Europe

Scotland (Gaelic: Alba) is a country that occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It is part of the United Kingdom, and shares a land border to the south with England. It has a population of 5,295,400 and an area of 78,800 km2.

Scotland shares a 60 mile (96 km) land border to the south with England, and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. Scottish waters border those of Norway, the Faeroes, Iceland and Republic of Ireland. Apart from the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands, giving it a coastline of approximately 6,200 miles (9,900 km).

The Kingdom of Scotland was united in 843, by Kenneth MacAlpin, King of Scots, and is thus one of the oldest still-existing countries in the world. Scotland existed as an independent state until the Act of Union, 1 May, 1707.

The flag of Scotland - the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross - is thought to be the oldest national flag still in use. Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Saint Andrew's Day, on 30 November, is Scotland's national day. There are currently attempts to create a national holiday on this day. Scottish people have played prominent parts in many important inventions and discoveries.

Selected article

Patrick Geddes, circa 1886

Sir Patrick Geddes FRSE (2 October 1854 – 17 April 1932) was a Scottish biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and pioneering town planner (see List of urban theorists). He is known for his innovative thinking in the fields of urban planning and sociology. He was responsible for introducing the concept of "region" to architecture and planning and is also known to have coined the term "conurbation". An energetic Francophile, Geddes was the founder of the Collège des Écossais (Scots College) an international teaching establishment in Montpellier, France.

The son of Janet Stevenson and soldier Alexander Geddes, Patrick Geddes was born in Ballater, Aberdeenshire, and educated at Perth Academy. He studied at the Royal College of Mines in London under Thomas Henry Huxley between 1874 and 1878, and lectured in Zoology at Edinburgh University from 1880 to 1888. Geddes wrote with J. Arthur Thomson an early book on sexology, The Evolution of Sex (1889). He held the Chair of Botany at University College Dundee from 1888 to 1919, and the Chair of Sociology at the University of Bombay from 1919 to 1924. While he thought of himself primarily as a sociologist, it was his commitment to close social observation and ability to turn these into practical solutions for city design and improvement that earned him a ‘revered place amongst the founding fathers of the British town planning movement’. He was knighted in 1932, shortly before his death in Montpellier, France on 17 April 1932.

Selected picture

View over Edinburgh, with the Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground

Calton Hill is a hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, just to the east of the New Town. Views of, and from, the hill are often used in photographs and paintings of the city.

Calton Hill is the headquarters of the Scottish Government, which is based at St Andrew's House, on the steep southern slope of the hill; with the Scottish Parliament Building, and other key buildings, for example Holyrood Palace, lying near the foot of the hill. The hill also includes several iconic monuments and buildings: the National Monument, Nelson's Monument, the Dugald Stewart Monument, the New Parliament House (the Royal High School), the Robert Burns Monument, the Political Martyrs' Monument and the City Observatory.

Photo credit: Andrewyuill

Selected quotes

Hamish Henderson

John Boyd Orr

In the news

Did You Know?


  • ...that Archie Roy had an asteroid named after him?

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History Timeline | Prehistoric Scotland | Scotland in the High Middle Ages | Wars of Scottish Independence | Scottish Enlightenment | Colonization | Acts of Union 1707 | Jacobitism | Highland Clearances
Politics Scottish Parliament | Scottish Government | First Minister of Scotland | Member of the Scottish Parliament | Secretary of State for Scotland | Scotland Office
Geography Geology | Climate | Mountains and hills | Islands | Lochs
Economy Companies | Bank of Scotland | Royal Bank of Scotland | North Sea oil | Scotch whisky | Harris Tweed
Demographics Scottish Gaelic language | Scots language | Scottish English | Highland English | Burghs
Culture Education | Scottish Football Association | Scottish Rugby Union | Clans |Highland games | Hogmanay | Innovations & discoveries
Symbols Flags (National Flag | Royal Standard) | Royal Arms (UK/Scottish) | Tartan | Bagpipes | Tartan Day

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