Historic districts in Edinburgh

Heart of Midlothian (Royal Mile)

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The Heart of Midlothian is a heart-shaped mosaic built into the pavement near the West Door of St Giles High Kirk on the Royal Mile (the High Street in this section) in Edinburgh, not far from Parliament House, which was the former Parliament of Scotland, and now the site of the Court of Session and Signet Library.

Together with brass markers set into the pavement, it records the position of the 15th-century Tolbooth of Edinburgh, demolished in 1817, which was the administrative centre of the town, prison and one of several sites of public execution. The tolbooth features in Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Heart of Midlothian, published in 1818.

Politically, the Heart is no longer in Midlothian because Edinburgh council has been separate from Midlothian for over a decade. The city currently incorporates former sections of West and East Lothian within it, but it was formerly the administrative centre of Midlothian, also known as "Edinburghshire" or the "County of Edinburgh" in the past. The football team Heart of Midlothian Football Clubs badge is based on the Heart.

Spitting

Visitors to Edinburgh will often notice people spitting on the Heart. A tolbooth stood on the site, where executions used to take place; some people spit on the Heart for good luck. A popular legend says that by spitting on the heart, one is destined to one day return to Edinburgh.

References

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Nat Tee
24 March 2012
Spit on the heart of midlothian! It can be good luck for the soccer team and it means you'll come back to Edinburgh one day
Matt Williams (SU2)
3 April 2011
Make sure to spit and whatever you do, DONT STEP ON IT
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West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH1 1RN, UK

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Fri 10:00 AM–8:00 PM
Sat 10:00 AM–10:00 PM
Sun 11:00 AM–6:00 PM
Mon 11:00 AM–8:00 PM
Tue 1:00 PM–9:00 PM
Wed 10:00 AM–8:00 PM
References

Heart of Midlothian on Foursquare

Heart of Midlothian (Royal Mile) on Facebook

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