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- Rosslyn Chapel
- Alt Name:
- United Kingdom
- Late Medieval (1300AD-1500AD)
- 1400AD - 1499AD
- Edinburgh Castle, Saint-Sulpice Church,
Musee du Louvre,
about Rosslyn Chapel
Rosslyn Chapel near Edinburgh in Scotland is the beautiful fifteenth century creation of the third Prince of Orkney, William St Clair. Begun in 1446 and with its foundations completed in 1450, Rosslyn Chapel was actually named the “Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew”.
Whilst Rosslyn Chapel may seem like a finished church, it is thought to be incomplete. It is believed that William intended it to be a cross-shaped church, but work largely ceasing upon his death in 1484. He was then buried at Rosslyn Chapel and later joined by several members of his noble family.
Over the next two centuries, Rosslyn Chapel would suffer first under the Reformation, when its altar was destroyed, and in 1650, when Oliver Cromwell’s men used it as stables whilst they raided Rosslyn Castle. Nevertheless, Rosslyn Chapel has survived in good condition, with renovations having restored this stunning church – revered by artists and poets alike – to its former glory.
Part of what makes Rosslyn Chapel such a masterpiece is its collection of stone carvings which cover virtually every inch of its walls. From depictions of what has been interpreted by some as Indian corn to more local rural images and, of course, many of prominent religious figures, there is something to see in every nook and cranny of Rosslyn Chapel.
However, it is the carvings linked to the Knights Templar which have gained the most attention for Rosslyn Chapel, particularly following the release of the 2003 novel “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown in which the church played an important role.
Infused with mystery and legend, these carvings draw tourists, artists and even royalty to Rosslyn Chapel. Guided tours are available to explain their meanings.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Rosslyn Chapel is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Midlothian, Scotland EH25 9PU
Phone: +44 (0)131 440 2159
Rosslyn Chapel is located in the Scottish village of Roslin, 7 miles south of Edinburgh along the A701. It can be reached from Edinburgh city centre via bus 15 to the “Hotel” stop at Roslin (plus short walk).
Rosslyn Chapel is open Mondays-Saturdays, 9:30am-5pm (Apr-Sept to 6pm). Sundays noon-4:45pm. Last entry 30 min. before closing. Closed 24, 25, 31 Dec and 1 Jan. Adults £7.50, £6 reduced, free for under 16s.
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