Saturday, December 18, 2004

"Edinburgh's shame"

Edinburgh's Carlton Hill features one of the world's greatest architectural anomalies. In 1816, a memorial project was initiated to commemorate those who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Of all the choices available to him, architect William Playfair designed an exact replica of the Parthenon in Athens. Unfortunately there wasn't much enthusiasm for what was a massive building project that would take decades to complete, so in the event, even though Glasgow offered to fund the remainder of the construction, only one of the facades of the building was ever completed. It stands in situ to this day, visited by thousands of tourists each year. So even though at the time it was dubbed "Edinburgh's shame", locals are extraordinarily proud of what is now a national monument.

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