Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. With a population of 495,360 in 2011 (up 1.9% from 2010), it is the largest settlement in Lothian and lies at the centre of a larger urban zone of approximately 850,000 people. While the town originally formed on the ridge descending from the Castle Rock, the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills.
From its prehistoric roots as a hillfort, following periods of Celtic and Germanic influence, Edinburgh became part of the Kingdom of Scotland during the 10th century. With burgh charters granted by David I and Robert the Bruce, Edinburgh grew through the Middle Ages as Scotland’s biggest merchant town. By the time of the European Renaissance and the reign of James IV it was well established as Scotland's capital. The 16th century Scottish Reformation and 18th century Scottish Enlightenment were formative periods in the history of the city, with Edinburgh playing a central role in both. While political power shifted to London following the Treaty of Union in 1707, with devolution in 1997 the city has seen the return of a Scottish parliament.[Source]