Perth: Former Capital of Scotland


Mother Church of the Scottish Reformation: St. Johns, Perth

Mother Church of the Scottish Reformation: St. Johns, Perth

Former Capital of Scotland

The capital of Scotland during the Middle Ages is known as the Fair City due to its numerous parks and its location on the banks of the River Tay. The Scottish Reformation began in Perth in 1559 when John Knox, the founder of the Presbyterian denomination, held a fiery sermon on idolatry in the Church of St. John the Baptist. A riot ensued that left the church and two local friaries gutted and looted. The unrest spread throughout Scotland, and only a year later the reformed faith was recognized by the Scottish Parliament as the official Church of Scotland. A pleasant nature path leads to the top of Kinnoul Hill with its panoramic views. Another important nearby site is Scone Abbey, where the Kings of the Scots were once crowned. Scotland's oldest whisky distillery, Glenturret, is just a few miles away in Crief.

Attractions Perth

Kinnoull Hill

Scottish Rhine Romanticism

A nature trail leads up to the 222 metre high rock from where you have a beautiful view over the River Tay and the railway line along the river. Only a few hundred metres away stands the neo-Gothic Kinnoull Tower, which Lord Grey of Kinfauns had built in 1829 after returning from a journey to the Rhine. In fact, the scenery is very similar to the Middle Rhine castle landscape.

Scone Palace

Magnificent palace with a large middle tower

This typical British palace has a large middle tower, two low side wings and two narrow corner towers. Although it was not built until 1808, the site on which the palace was built has a much longer history. The original Gaelic castle once housed the Stone of Scone, upon which the Scottish kings were crowned. In 1296, the English king, Edward, had the mythical stone carted away and built into his own thrown. An Augustinian monastery once stood here, which was looted and laid waste by followers of John Knox.

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St. John's Kirk

Pulpit of the preacher of penance John Knox

The church from the 12th century was consecrated to John the Baptist and gave its name to the town, which used to be called Saint John's Toun. John was also called the most famous preacher at the church, the Calvinist penitential preacher John Knox. After a stay in Geneva and Frankfurt am Main, the reformer of Scotland returned to Perth in 1559. When after one of his fiery sermons against the worship of pictures a Catholic priest immediately read the mass, the fanatical crowd destroyed altars, pictures and relics, but not the church bells, so that St John's still has the largest collection of church bells in Britain.

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