Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Scotland Part 2: Dunfermline

Dunfermline is the ancient capital city of Scotland with settlements recorded in this area dating back to 506 AD. Dunfermline has economic roots in the textile and coal mining industries, leading the world in linen damask in the 1700s. Like London, Dunfermline experienced a major fire in the 1600s that destroyed the majority of the city. Among the buildings that survived the fire were the Dunfermline Palace and adjacent Dunfermline Abbey. The Abbey holds a Bruce Festival each year to honor Scottish hero Robert the Bruce, also buried in Dunfermline along with six other Scottish kings. Today Dunfermline's economy relies on tourism, finances, and other modern industries.

One of Scotland's most famous residents, Andrew Carnegie, was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835. He is largely remembered for donating money to build public libraries, one of his many philanthropic endeavors. Carnegie's father was a talented handloom linen weaver, but as industrialization hit, the Carnegie family moved to America when Andrew was just a young boy. In America, Andrew was a hard worker and held many jobs as he quickly worked upward to unparalleled success in the railroad, oil, and steel industries where he amassed his incredible wealth. Carnegie's wealth, however, was just as infamous as he redistributed it later in life in trusts and other namesakes such as Carnegie Mellon University and Carnegie Hall in addition to the Carnegie Libraries. Over 2,500 Carnegie libraries exist today, the first of which was the Carnegie Public Library build in his birthplace, Dunfermline, Scotland.

Carnegie Public Library, where Andrew Carnegie built his first library, opened its doors on August 29th, 1883.

Carnegie Birthplace Museum
Founded by Andrew Carnegie's wife and purchased as a 60th birthday present, the museum has a cafe, weaving demonstrations, and many other

More on Dunfermline:
Dunfermline on itraveluk.
Dunfermline Palace and Abbey on Historic Scotland
Dunfermline Area on Undiscovered Scotland

More on Andrew Carnegie:
PBS American Experience special The Richest Man in the World: Andrew Carnegie
A brief biography from the Carnegie Corporation of New York

Other sites of interest in Dunfermline:
Dunfermline Abbey
History of Dunfermline Abbey

For what to do and what to see in Dunfermline:

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