— p. 46
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, and is situated in the south-east of the country. In direct contrast to the new city of Milton Keynes, it is a very old city indeed: the oldest complete building in Edinburgh — St. Margaret’s Chapel — dates from the beginning of the twelfth century, and there is evidence of settlements dating back several thousand years. The city is built on several volcanic plugs, the most well-known being Castle Rock and Arthur’s Seat, where King Arthur supposedly watched his army’s defeat of the Picts.
It is often romantically referred to as ‘the Athens of the North’. The reasons for this are disputed, but the most common are that it is built on seven hills (despite it actually being built on eight); it has a similar layout with an ‘Acropolis’ in the town centre, and the land sloping down to a port by the sea; several of its buildings are Neo-Classical in style; and it was a great centre of learning. Edinburgh played a major part in the 18th-Century Enlightenment, and was home to such famous authors as Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It still is home to such famous authors as Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith, and J. K. Rowling.
Today, Edinburgh is home to over 400,000 people, a figure which more than doubles during the famous Edinburgh Festival. The city maintains a sometimes less-than-friendly rivalry with Glasgow, although for no immediately obvious reasons apart from being two major Scottish cities in close proximity. This rivalry is referenced in the above quote; Aziraphale takes Edinburgh as it is often seen as the more upper-class and refined of the two cities. Glasgow, on the other hand, is often perceived as more industrial and lower-class, and was developed by Crowley.
“Edinburgh.” Wikipedia. Accessed 5 Aug 2006, 12:30 PM. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh>.