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The land and the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
(Scottish Gaelic: Alba)
Location of Scotland within the United Kingdom and in the European continent Scotland is part of the United Kingdom occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It borders on England in the south and is washed by the North Sea in the east, the Atlantic Ocean in the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea in the southwest.
Scotland map Besides the mainland, Scotland includes over 790 islands among them the Northern Isles - the Orkney, the Shetland Islands and the Hebrides.
Flag of Orkney The name of the Orkney Islands, "Orkney" dates back to the 1st century BC or earlier, and the islands have been inhabited for at least 8,500 years.
The 1654 map of the Orkney and Shetland Islands The original Latin name "Orcades" was still in use by map makers in the 17th century.
The Shetland Islands Flag and Coat-of-arms of Shetlands The Shetland Islands have been populated since at least 3400 BC. The islands were colonised by Norsemen in the 9th century. The colonisers gave it that name and established their laws and language.
Map of the Inner and Outer Hebrides The Hebrides contain the largest concentration of Scottish Gaelic speakers in Scotland. This is especially true of the Outer Hebrides, where the majority of people speak the language.
Skara Brae, a Neolithic settlement located in Orkney Scotland has a rich age-long history. It is believed that the first hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, after the last glaciation.
Monument marking the site of the Roman fort of Trimontium During the Roman invasion the Roman Empire influenced Scotland, however the occupation was neither complete nor continuous.
The famous Hadrian's Wall built by the order of Roman Emperor Hadrian The Romans erected Hadrian's Wall to control tribes from the north, and it became the northern border of the Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of the Picts was the state which eventually became known as "Alba" or "Scotland". The development of "Pictland", according to historian Peter Heather, was a natural response to Roman rule.
A Pictish eagle (symbol) stone in Strathpeffer The Aberlemno Pictish Serpent Stone, showing the serpent, the double disc and Z-rod and the mirror and comb There are a lot of stone monuments of the Pictish period in Scotland. Archaeological evidence shows that the technology of everyday life may have been similar to that in Anglo-Saxon England.
Old cities of Scotland By the 10th century the Kingdom of the Picts became known as the Kingdom of the Scots dominated by Gaelic culture.
Daniel Mytens, Portrait of James VI (of Scotland), later James I of England, 1621 Scotland used to be an independent kingdom until King James VI ascended to the throne of England after Elisabeth I as King James I of England.
Lion Rampant - Royal standard of Scotland Since 1707 Scotland has been part of Great Britain.
Kingdom of Scotland Royal coat-of-arms Scotland's Head of state is the monarch of the United Kingdom.
The Flag of Scotland (the Cross of Saint Andrew – the Patron Saint of Scotland) The flag of Scotland is a white cross against the blue background. It’s the Cross of Saint Andrew – the Patron Saint of Scotland. Now you hear the National Anthem of Scotland.
The thistle (Onopordum acanthium), Scotland's Floral emblem. The thistle is a Scotland's floral emblem.
Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland Mainland Scotland is a beautiful mountainous area divided into two geographical regions: the Highlands (in the north and the west) and the Lowlands (in the south and the east).
Ballachulish, Western Highlands, Scotland The Highlands is the place where Scots Gaelic, an ancient Celtic language, is widely spoken.
Scottish Highlands. Caledonia “Caledonia” is the Latin name given by the Romans to the land in today's Scotland north beyond the frontier of their empire. Modern use is as a romantic or poetic name for Scotland as a whole.
Duneaton Valley, Lowlands Confusingly, some parts of the Lowlands, such as the Southern Uplands are not physically 'low‘-the area is rather hilly.
National parks of Scotland Scotland contains the most mountainous terrain in Great Britain.
Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Great Britain Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland and Great Britain.
Scotland Map showing the major Lochs in Scotland Lochs and rivers have always been an important feature of Scotland. Scotland has over 100 rivers of varying sizes and over 500 fresh and saltwater lochs.
A Highland Loch (lake) Loch – is a Scottish word for “lake”. Many of them were formed from former glaciers.
Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle The most famous lake in Scotland is Loch Ness, known for its mysterious monster.
Clan Tartans Rally The Scots are very proud of their traditions and their family unity. They traditionally lived in groups called clans. Clan in Gaelic means “family” or “descendants”.
Men of each clan wear kilts of a specific tartan design and colour.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the 2nd largest city of the UK.
Scottish Parliament Building, Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh is the seat of Scottish Parliament located in the Holyrood area of the capital.
Scottish Parliament building Scottish Parliament is the devolved national, unicameral legislature of Scotland.
Scottish Parliament at Perth, the Ancient Capital of Scotland The original Parliament of Scotland (or "Estates of Scotland") was the national legislature of the independent Kingdom of Scotland, and existed from the early 13th century until the Kingdom of Scotland merged with the Kingdom of England under the Acts of Union 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Parliament House, Edinburgh Following a referendum in 1997, in which the Scottish electorate gave their consent, the current Parliament was established by the Scotland Act 1998, which sets out its powers as a devolved legislature.
New Scottish Parliament Building In 1999 Scottish Parliament started its work in Edinburgh after a gap of 292 years. A new Parliament building was constructed.
Debating chamber of Scottish Parliament Parliament, informally referred to as "Holyrood", is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).
Members of Scottish Parliament Members are elected for four-year terms. The Queen appoints one Member of the Scottish Parliament, (MSP), to be First Minister. The most recent general election to the Parliament was held May 3, 2007.
Alexander Nasmith, Portrait of Robert Burns (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh) Scotland is proud and dearly keeps the memory of its great sons, who made an unsurpassed contribution to world literature: a Scottish poet Robert Burns;
Sir Henry Raeburn, Portrait of Sir Walter Scott, 1822 (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh) Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet;