Dunfermline Abbey, the tower

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Dunfermline Abbey, the tower ( 480x640 )
Dunfermline Abbey is a Benidictine abbey in Dunfermline, former capital of Scotland.

It was founded by King David I of Scotland. The construction began in 1128 according to the design of William Burn in Norman style and it was completed in 1250. However, the mosaic establishment is of earlier date (from the reign of King Malcolm III, David’s father, in the second half of 11th century). The foundations of the earliest church (the Church of the Holy Trinity) are under the present superb Romanesque nave built in the 12th century. The abbey was administrated by Abbot of Dunfermline, the first abbot being Geoffrey of Canterbury.

In the years following its foundation, the abbey gained power and wealth and was a lucrative centre of pilgrimage after Dunfermline became a centre for the well-promoted cult of St Margaret (Malcolm's wife and David's mother). At the peak of its power it controlled four burghs, three courts of regality and a large portfolio of lands. The abbey was sacked in 1560 by Reformers and permitted to fall into disrepair, although part of the church continued in use. It was mainly the nave that was restored in 1570 by Robert Drummond of Carnock. Till the 19th century it served as a parish church and now it forms the vestibule of the New Church opened to public in 1821. Next to the abbey there is the ruin of Dunfermline Palace, also part of the original abbey complex and connected to it via the gatehouse.

As a church, the Dunfermline abbey saw several famous birth, marriages and burials. To some of the most famous burials belong Saint Margaret of Scotland and her husband Malcolm Canmore, whose tomb got Queen Victoria restored. Many others kings of Scotland are buried here with their wives as well, to mention at least one, Robert the Bruce, whose body was buried here, although is heart lies in Merlose.

In the 20th century there were three stained glass windows installed. At first it is The Great East Window (Sacramental Window) with its representation of the Last Supper, then The Malcolm and Margaret Memorial Window depicting their marriage and The Bruce Memorial Window commemorating 700th anniversary of the year he died.
The interior of the church today is split into two main sections, the Medieval Nave known as the `Old Church` or Nave` is in fact the only remains of the twelfth century Abbey; and the more modern Place of Worship built in 1818.

The current church building (on the site of the old Abbey's choir) remains in use as a Parish Church in the Church of Scotland, still with the name Dunfermline Abbey.
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