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Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland.
The city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland.
Their influence continued for the next three centuries until around 950, when, during the reign of Indulf, son of Constantine II, the "burh" (fortress), named in the 10th century Pictish Chronicle as oppidum Eden, By the middle of the 14th century, the French chronicler Jean Froissart was describing it as the capital of Scotland (c.
1365), and James III (1451–88) referred to it in the 15th century as "the principal burgh of our kingdom".
In the 17th century, Edinburgh's boundaries were still defined by the city's defensive town walls.
As a result, the city's growing population was accommodated by increasing the height of the houses.
In 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the English throne, uniting the crowns of Scotland and England in a personal union known as the Union of the Crowns, though Scotland remained, in all other respects, a separate kingdom.
Subsequent Scottish support for Charles Stuart's restoration to the throne of England resulted in Edinburgh's occupation by Oliver Cromwell's Commonwealth of England forces – the New Model Army – in 1650.
It is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery.Edinburgh became a major intellectual centre, earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many neo-classical buildings and reputation for learning, recalling ancient Athens.From the 1770s onwards, the professional and business classes gradually deserted the Old Town in favour of the more elegant "one-family" residences of the New Town, a migration that changed the city's social character.The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, was placed 23rd in the QS World University Rankings in 2018.The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival.