William Wallace was a Scottish knight who fought for his country’s independence from England. He became one of Scotland’s greatest national heroes and got a pretty impressive monument erected in his honor.
However, he paid a high price for it: The English considered his independence aspirations treason, which, at the end, got him publicly executed in the worst of ways: First he got hanged, but released while still alive. Then emasculated and eviscerated. His bowels were burned before him before he finally got beheaded. Whoever got the idea for that punishment was seriously sick…
When walking from Stirling to the National Wallace Monument, you’ll cross Stirling bridge. An arched stone bridge built in the 15th century. In the late 13th century the bridge was made of wood and it is believed that it stood about 160 meters further up the river.
That’s were William Wallace and his budy Andrew Moray (and of course some thousand of their fellow freedom fighters), defeated the English army although the English vastly outnumbered them. Luckily for the Scotts, the English troups were stupid enough to cross the narrow bridge. All the Scottish fighters had to do was to wait patiently until a manageable number of enemy forces crossed the bridge, before launching their assault. Split into two, the English were not just an easy target, their much higher numbers were rendered pointless, as long as they stood at the other side of the river.
At the end William Wallace and his men went home victorious on 11 September 1297, while plenty of English soldiers didn’t go home at all.
The monument provides a priceless panorama of the surrounding area, including Stirling Castle. Oh, and btw.: Contrary to common believe, Breaveheart refers to King Robert the Bruce. Mel Gibson’s academy award winning Movie is “a little inaccurate” in this regard. But as a Scottish tourist guide put it: The increased popularity of Scotland and the tourists that came along, nicely compensate this flaw.
For additional information, please visit the National Wallace Monument’s official website.
Next month, we’re going to take a look at the castle at Sigmaringen.
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