Scotland: Unicorns, castles and tapestries.

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It was the beginning of March (I didn’t know which was coming) I was finally going to set foot in a country that I had not visited before and that I was dying to go: Scotland. Only a few days have been enough for me to fall in love with its nature, history and the Stirling Castle Tapestries. A must see with a very well preserved fortress located at the top of the city of Stirling.

Hunt of the Unicorn Tapestry in Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle has been of crucial importance in the history of Scotland, for example during the Scottish Wars of Independence, the legendary battle of Stirling Bridge happened where William Wallace managed to defeat the English army for the first time and the battle of Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce defeated the English, achieving Scottish independence in an epic battle for the country’s history. You may also be interested in the fact that the coronation of “Mary Queen of Scots” took place in this castle. I can still tell a little that I was very excited to visit Scotland.

The castle is very well kept and restored so you can see how people lived in the 16th century. Among those replicas were the tapestries of the hunt of the unicorn, huge tapestries hanging from the royal rooms.

Stirling castle interior with replicas of the tapestries
Stirling castle interior with replicas of the tapestries

Historians of the reign of James IV believe that a similar series of tapestries were part of the Scottish royal collection, so in 2002, the West Dean College Tapestry Study began to recreate them.

To learn more about the creation process there is an exhibition in the castle with all the information. It took 13 years to weave. It is worth seeing the result.

Samples of the tapestry to find the most exact color to the original
Samples to find the most exact color to the original

To do so, they visited the originals exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. How did they end up there? Well, it was a donation from John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1937 after buying them from the La Rochefoucauld family who owned it for centuries.

In 1998 they restored and digitized them, so you can see them from home and recreate yourself in the details, which are not few! Although seeing them exposed in Stirling Castle was something spectacular.

Since then I would like to do something related to tapestries and unicorns. Follow me to stay tunned 🦄

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