Dumbarton Castle, a Scottish citadel

Saint Patrick wrote about it. Merlin slept here. Vikings attacked, and so did James the Fat. With such an illustrious past, is it any wonder that Dumbarton Castle in Scotland is such a cool place?

Castle Dumbarton stand on the river Clyde, in Scotland Scotland's Dumbarton Castle, reflected in the River Clyde

Dumbarton Castle stands facing the River Clyde, in such a strategic location that there has been a fort here since the 5th century AD. The name Dumbarton comes from an old Scottish phrase meaning "the fortress of the Britons", a testament to its importance.

Over the 1,600 years since then, many rulers have come and gone. Attackers have laid seige, some successful, others not. Some incarnations of the castle have been demolished by warfare and time, while other fortifications and improvements were made.

Today, Castle Dumbarton is protected by the government of Scotland as a historic monument, and you can visit this "fortress of the Britons", where Mary Queen of Scots was protected as a baby.

Scotland's Dumbarton Castle at sunset Sunset reflections, at Dumbarton Castle, Scotland

It's not just about the history, either, though that is fascinating, indeed. The vistas from the summit are splendid, and the views of the castle itself from across the river are stunning.

If you visit Scotland, check out Dumbarton Castle. You can see for yourself why this location was so important that thousands of people died, trying to conquer or defend it.

Find out more at Historic Scotland - Dumbarton Castle

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PHOTO CREDITS:  baaker2009 (flickr)

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