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Scottish Parliament

from Edinburgh, Scotland


ABOVE: An open-top tour bus passes the Scottish Parliament at the foot of Holyrood Road. INSET BELOW: Windows in the building, which was designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles.


In 1998, the United Kingdom's Scotland Act established the first Scottish Parliament since 1707, thereby reconvening a legislative body that could trace its heritage to the 13th Century. (See the History pages at for an overview of the parliament's history from 1235 until today.)

Even before the 129 Members of Scottish Parliament were elected, Tony Blair's government in London decided that a new parliamentary headquarters was needed. (See the Holyrood Inquiry's Holyrood History.) A building that was expected to cost 10-40 million had a final tab estimated at 431 million, or about 3.34 million per MSP.

In spite of the controversy over its cost--or perhaps because of that controversy--the new Scottish Parliament has become one of Edinburgh's major tourist attractions. It's conveniently located at the foot of the Royal Mile, opposite the Palace of Holyroodhouse and near the Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat. The building is well worth a visit if you're interested in modern architecture, government, or Scottish politics. For information on public gallery access and guided tours, see the next page.

Next page: Visiting the Scottish Parliament

In this article:
Scottish Parliament - Introduction
Scottish Parliament Public Gallery and Tours

More about Edinburgh:
Edinburgh home page at Europe for Visitors

Inset photo copyright © Lucy Boyd.

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