Also at the lower end of the Royal Mile there are several quite controversial buildings which have recently been built to house the Scottish Parliament.
This is the new parliament that was created under the Scotland Act of 1998. It is the first parliament Scotland has had since its union with England in 1707.
The new Parliament building was open for public viewing for a meeting regarding educational reform so I sat in the gallery and watched things happen for about an hour.
Nice building and it's always fun to get to watch people discuss laws
The Scottish Parliament came into being after a referendum in September 1997 but it wasn't until 2004 that the new parliament building finally opened, just across the road from the Holyrood Palace, which is now a museum.
The building has proved to be rather controversial. Construction ran over by 3 years and nearly 400 million pounds over budget.
While it won many architectural awards it would be hard to say the building is universally popular among the general public. Myself while I'm a lover of modern architecture this place is one of my least favourite public buildings.
One hour tours of the Scottish Parliament building cost 6 pounds and are best booked in advance. Details on their website.
I've not been inside the Scottish Parliament building so I can't offer an opinion about a visit -- it was opened by Queen Elizabeth 11 in 2004 -- initial cost estimates in 1997 were between 10 and 40 million GBP -- the final cost was over 400 million GBP. Sadly its architect, Enric Miralles from Catalonia, died in 2000 aged 44 so he didnt see the opening of parliament here.
Full details at the link below :-
The Scottish Parliament looks really good although probably not worth the millions spend on it. Anyway, there is a nice green area with some ponds in front of it which is great for relaxing on a hot day. It is possible to go on a guided tour of the parliament building.
The Scottish parliment was to give Scotland back some of the power it lost when the unity of the thrones happened when James VI and I was king. The parliment was voted for by the Scottish people and gives them a say on things such as schools. However the parliment does not have overall control of taxation laws but has tax varying powers which to date has never used. You can visit inside the parliment for free and can sit in some parlimentary debates. So if you are interested in how our parliment works go ahead and visit.
If you wish to take a guided tour you must book in advance and their is a fee for this.
The building is a modern building desinged by the late spanish architect Eric Miralles. The building has won architecture awards for its design. It has been critisied the world over for the amount of money spent on building it and became national laughing stock after several structural defects were found within months such as flooding problems, problems with windows and then my all time favourite was when the ceilling and roof started caving in on the main hall during a session of parliment. This building is supposed to represent and upside down boat.
Although the building has won many awards in my opinion this building is an eyesore that should have never been built on the Royal Mile or anywhere near buildings of beautiful architecture such as holyrood house and spoils the areas historic look.
The new Parliament is well worth a visit and a guided tour can be booked if you wish.
There is an interesting shop...oddly enough full of food and drink and some general toursit gifts.
Tour Bookings: 0131 348 5200
The new Scotish Parliament building lies to the East down the Royal Mile. It is a striking building and if you manage to get a tour of the interior it is really stunning - especially the council chambers.
Visit the new Scottish Parliament at it's temporary home on the Mound just down from the Castle. Thursday afternoon 3.10pm-3.30pm is First Minister's Question Time in the main chamber, public gallery is huge and anyone can sit in.
New parliament in it's infancy. Now has devolved responsibility for much of the lawmaking previously done at Westminster.
Sitting just across from Holyrood Palace, the Scottish parliament sits in a very innovative looking building.