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Which city is called the “Athens of the North”?Answer – Edinburgh, Scotland – Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh rebranded itself as the “Athens of the North” in the 18th century — even going so far to start construction in 1826 on a Scottish National Monument modeled after the Parthenon. (Sadly, the city ran out of funds, and the monument was never finished.) Prior to the 18th century, life in Edinburgh’s Old Town was rather grim — the infamous Nor’ Loch (lake) cast a dreadful stench over the city, while crime, disease, and fire ran rampant in the tenements that housed its cramped residents. But local architect James Craig had a vision for a New Town that relied on principles of classical architecture with Grecian-style buildings. Around the same time, the Scottish Enlightenment took hold, fostering new ideas regarding politics, economics, science, and artistic pursuits. The University of Edinburgh also thrived during this epoch, and Edinburgh became a bustling commercial center similar to ancient Athens. While the connections between the two cities may not extend much further from there, both cities today are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.:
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