Until May 1, 1707 the Kingdom of Scotland was an independent state. The Acts of Union resulted in the union of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. Since then, Scotland has been a part of Great Britain.
Scotland spans around 78,387 square kilometers, with Edinburgh as its capital. Scotland is famous for its mountain scenery, lochs (lakes), brooks, and an incredible coastline.
The motto of Scotland is 'Nemo me impune lacessit' which means 'No one provokes me with impunity'. The word Scotland is derived from the Latin word 'Scoti' that was user to refer to Gaels and later on the word 'Scotia' came into picture meaning the 'land of the Gaels'.
It was initially used to refer to Ireland but around the 11th century, Scotia was being used to refer to Gaelic speaking Scotland north of the river Forth. The use of the words Scots and Scotland became common during the late middle ages.
Scotland and Lochs
In Scotland, 'loch' is used to describe any enclosed large expanse of water and is derived from the Gaelic word 'lochan', which means a small lake or pool. Scotland has over 950 square kilometers of freshwater lakes.
The largest loch by area is the Loch Lomond which is about 72 square kilometers in size while the largest loch by volume is Loch Ness. Legend has it that, a great big sea monster lives in the depth of Loch Ness.
Interesting Facts about Scotland
It is believed that Scotland was a separate land mass from England during the days of Pangaea.
The land masses, then, collided over a million years ago and have been stuck ever since and even today their geological compositions are completely different.
The flag of Scotland has the Cross of St. Andrew on a blue background. St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland.
As Scotland is a part of the UK, the head of state in Scotland is the monarch of the United Kingdom, that is Queen Elizabeth II.
In July 1999, Queen Elizabeth II opened the first parliament in Scotland in 300 years. The parliament is responsible for health services, social work services, and local government services.
English is the official language of Scotland and there has been a considerable decrease in the percentage of population speaking Gaelic Scottish.
Scotland is a Protestant dominant country.
The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn. The Unicorn is also depicted in the coat of arms of the Great Britain.
The Unicorn is shown supporting a shield but the Unicorn is chained as it was believed during the medieval times that the Unicorn was a wild beast that could only be tamed by a virgin.
While, Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, the largest city in Scotland is Glasgow.
Scotland emphasizes on a broad education system and was one of the first countries to implement a system of general public education.
There are 15 Scottish universities, some of which are the oldest universities in the world.
The climate in Scotland ranges from temperate to oceanic and tends to be very changeable. The temperatures here are lower when compared to the rest of the United Kingdom.
The law in Scotland is very unique as it allows three verdicts in criminal cases including a 'not proven' verdict.
According to a Daily Mail's report of 2011, Scots are among the shortest in the United Kingdom. About 200 years ago, as the report says, things were not the same. Scots were among the taller section of people in UK.
Scotland seems to have it all, a beautiful landscape, excellent weather, beautiful lochs, and a rich and varied culture. It is a country that is among the top few that an individual wishes to visit.