National Monument of Scotland, Calton Hill, Edinburgh by Jenna Johnston

National Monument of Scotland, Calton Hill, Edinburgh

I was in Edinburgh visiting a university friend that was studying her postgraduate degree. We'd both gone to university in Scotland, and we feel a deep connection to it. After an evening of reminiscence, we decided to take a walk up Calton Hill to take in a view of the city reaching out below us. My favourite photo of the day, however, is not one that surveyed the grace of Edinburgh, but Edinburgh's Disgrace.

I loved the three different tableau taking place between the pillars. The solitary scholar, the group of friends, the individual explorer. It seemed, to me, to encapsulate so much of Scottish history, and indeed my own experience of the country.

The National Monument was started in 1826 as a monument to fallen soldiers in the Napoleonic wars, "A Memorial of the Past and Incentive to the Future Heroism of the Men of Scotland." It was abandoned in 1829 when the cash ran out. Modelled on the Parthenon, I don't believe that this striking monument should ever be finished. In the context of the Old City Observatory and Nelson's Monument, it conjures up images of ancient agora.