Portal:Scotland

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THE SCOTLAND PORTAL

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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

Reconstructed crannog on Loch Tay

A crannog (/ˈkrænəɡ/; Irish: crannóg [ˈkɾˠan̪ˠoːɡ]; Scottish Gaelic: crannag) is typically a partially or entirely artificial island, usually built in lakes, rivers and estuarine waters of Scotland and Ireland. Unlike the prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps which were built on the shores and were only inundated later on, crannogs were built in the water, thus forming artificial islands.

Crannogs were used as dwellings over five millennia from the European Neolithic Period, to as late as the 17th/early 18th century although in Scotland, convincing evidence for Early and Middle Bronze Age or Norse Period use is not currently present in the archaeological record. The earliest radiocarbon determinations obtained from key sites such as Oakbank in Loch Tay or Redcastle, Beauly Firth approach the Late Bronze Age - Early Iron Age transition at their widest interpretation at 2 sigma or 95.4% probability, falling after c.800BC and therefore could only be considered Late Bronze Age by the narrowest of margins. Crannogs have been variously interpreted as free-standing wooden structures, as at Loch Tay, although more commonly they exist as brush, stone or timber mounds which can be revetted with timber piles. However, in areas such as the Western Isles of Scotland, timber was unavailable from the Neolithic onwards. As a result, completely stone crannogs supporting drystone architecture are common here. Today, crannogs typically appear as small, circular islets, often 10 to 30 metres (30 to 100 ft) in diameter, covered in dense vegetation due to their inaccessibility to grazing livestock.

Selected picture

The Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, and 14 kilometres (9 mi) west of central Edinburgh. It was opened on 4 March 1890, and spans a total length of 2,528.7 metres (8,296 ft). It is often called the Forth Rail Bridge or Forth Railway Bridge to distinguish it from the Forth Road Bridge.

Photo credit: George Gastin

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George Whyte-Melville

Robert Louis Stevenson

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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
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Geography Geology | Climate | Mountains and hills | Islands | Lochs
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Culture Education | Scottish Football Association | Scottish Rugby Union | Clans |Highland games | Hogmanay | Innovations & discoveries
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