St. Giles’ Cathedral, sometimes called the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is a well-known feature of Edinburgh’s skyline. The cathedral is decorated with a traditional Scottish crown steeple and has been the focus of Edinburgh’s religious worship for nearly 900 years. Many people today consider it to be Presbyterianism’s mother church.
St. Giles is well known for its beautiful stained glass windows, which date from the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the most well known windows was designed by Edward Burne-Jones, which captures the sun’s light as it sets and displays it through its many rich hues. Another popular window is the Burns Window, which features many of the themes within Robert Burns’ poetry.
The cathedral also contains numerous monuments, most notably those of Robert Louis Stevenson and the Protestant reformer John Knox who is buried in the churchyard of St. Giles. While no grave marker exists, there is a statue near the west end of the cathedral dedicated to his memory.
While much of the stonework of the cathedral is dated to the medieval period, its structure has been rebuilt and the stonework resurfaced in such a manner that it does not resemble its original, unique appearance. Late in the 20th century, however, the crown spire was restored and re-gilded to resemble its original architectural state.
Opening Times and Prices
Opening times for St. Giles’ Cathedral are as follows:
Summer Opening Hours (May – September)
Monday – Friday 09.00 – 19.00
Saturday 09.00 – 17.00
Sunday 13.00 – 17.00
Winter Opening Hours (October – April)
Monday – Saturday 09.00 – 17.00
Admission to the Cathedral is free. Visitors are invited to make a donation of £3.00 per person.
Address: St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh, EH1 1RE
Tourist Bus: Served by Edinburgh’s Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus