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Extended Travel: Dunfermline, Scotland

Dunfermline Abbey 

Once the capital of Scotland, Dunfermline in county Fife may not currently be up to the standards of its past glory, suffering the nickname the “Dormitory of Edinburgh” due to the many people who live there and commute into the larger city for work, but with a rich history that extends back nearly 2,000 years, it is a worthy stopover for anyone enamored with Scottish history.
Robert the BruceMalcolm III established Dunfermline as the royal seat of power in the mid-11th century which lasted until James I was assassinated in 1437. Malcolm’s queen, the Saxo-Hungarian princess Margaret, persuaded her husband to build Dunfermline Abbey and it is there that many of the early Scottish royalty were buried included perhaps the most famous, Robert the Bruce, or Robert 1. Though Braveheart portrayed Robert the Bruce as betraying the William Wallace, taking the side of the English in the battle at Falkirk, this is incorrect. Bruce never betrayed Wallace and it is alleged that Wallace was a supporter of Bruce. Each year to celebrate the life of this 14th century monarch, the city holds Bruce Festival which includes musical performances along with special tours of the abbey and castle (the next one is August 19-29th, 2010). It is in Dunfermline Abbey that the 1996 film The Bruce, was filmed as well as Macbeth (1997).

Dunfermline Abbey graveyard 
But Dunfermline is known for more than just its Medieval history. It also boasts the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was once considered the richest man in the world, moving to New York as the child of poor immigrants, but he gave away most of his wealth to philanthropic causes, one of which was his hometown of Dunfermline. It is in Dunfermline that Carnegie built his first Carnegie Hall before the one in New York.
City centerThe cottage where Carnegie was born is at 2 Moodie Street, close to Priory Land and St. Margaret’s Street. The house dates from the late 18th century and was originally built for the employees of hand weavers. Today is is a museum dedicated to Carnegie. Another notable Carnegie stop is the lovely Pittencreiff Park, which he bought for the town. The park contains a small museum, gardens and hothouses as well as the remains of King Malcolm’s tower. This tower appears on the town crest and dates back to around 1000 AD.
Access: Dunfermline is easily accessible by bus and train from Edinburgh, Dundee and towns around Fife. The train station is Dunfermline Town in the center of town and close to all the sites. The bus station is on Queen Anne Street, between Carnegie Drive and High Street, also in the center of town.
Dunfermline Abbey
18 St. Margaret Street, Dunfermline KY12 7PE, United Kingdom – 01383 723 693

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Carnegie Birthplace
2 Moodie St, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 7PL, UK

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Pittencreiff Park
A few yards from Dunfermline Abbey

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