St. Giles’ Cathedral or the High Kirk of Edinburgh is a parish church in the Church of Scotland. It is located in the Old Town of Edinburgh.
The first stone church of St. Giles’ was built around 1124 in the Romanesque style. Very little of this first church survives. The core of the building that we see today dates from around 1322 following a fire. A second fire in 1385 gave the impetus for renovation work and chapels we say today were built. The tower dates from 1416 with the crown steeple from around 1500. It is only one of two surviving crown steeples in Scotland. The other being at King’s College in Aberdeen.
At the Reformation, the interior of the church completely changed. Furniture was removed and the walls were whitewashed. Most noticeably, partition walls were erected to allow for congregations to assemble closer to the preacher to hear his sermons. It was during this time that John Knox was elected minister. A post in which stayed for thirteen years.