Stirling Castle: King's Bedchamber, unicorn of royal purity & strength. Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe.
Inside Stirling Castle, unicorns in the Scottish King's Bedchamber symbolize royal purity & strength. What's with the unicorn? Unicorns were first depicted in 2600 BC in ancient seals of the Indus Valley Civilization and were mentioned by the ancient Greeks. In Celtic mythology the unicorn symbolized purity, innocence, masculinity and power. The proud, haughty unicorn was chosen as Scotland's national animal because it would rather die than be captured, just as Scots would fight to remain sovereign and unconquered. The unicorn was first used on the Scottish royal coat of arms by William I in the 1100s, and two unicorns supported the shield until 1603. When James VI became James I of England and Ireland in 1603, he replaced one unicorn with the national animal of England, the lion, to demonstrate unity. Believed to be the strongest of all animals, wild and untamed, the mythical unicorn could only be humbled by a virgin maiden. However, Scotland's unicorn in the coat of arms is always bounded by a golden chain, often shown around its neck and body, symbolizing the power of the Scottish kings, strong enough to tame a unicorn. Most of Stirling Castle's main buildings date from the 1400s and 1500s, when it peaked in importance. Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe.Add to Cart Add to Lightbox Download