People really believed that this animal was real. Kings, army men, travelers all said that they saw it. Everyone describing it differently. Marco Polo was not impressed and said that it is ugly, but now we know that he saw rhinos at that time. There are even recipes found how to cook this mystical creature, pharmacies in London sold unicorn horn powder until 1741. In United States in 1971 University in Michigan started give permits for people who would like to find a unicorn. In Germany in 1560 the unicorn horn was sold to pope for 18 000 pounds. The existence was only disproved in 1825 by scientist Baron George Covier. He said that no animal has just one hoof in the middle of its head by splitting it. In mythology unicorn still is a powerful figure.
Maybe because what meaning unicorn had in Celtic mythology this creature was chosen as Scotland’s national animal. It was a symbol of purity but associated with masculinity and power. Many tales were told about the chivalry and dominance of the unicorn.
Scotland is tangled with legends and myths, so no surprise that this kind of animal is their national symbol. It represents Scottish people how they are proud of their lands and fight until victory are theirs to defend their treasures.
Willian I is the one who first used unicorn. He added it on the Scottish royal coats of arms. In the 15th century country was ruled by King James III and he used unicorn on his gold coins. When England and Scotland announced their union, Scottish Royal Arms shield was supported by two unicorns and because of the union left side was replaced by the national animal of England- lion.
WHY IS THE UNICORN CHAINED?
It was believed that unicorn is a wild creature who can not be tamed, so why national symbol is shown with chains around its neck and whole body? Chains stands for the power of the Scottish kings, they were so strong that they tamed the beast.
WHERE TO SEE THE UNICORN IN SCOTLAND
This legacy of Scotland can be found on the important historic buildings. If you travel, there see if you can spot it.
*Official residency of Her Majesty the Queen on the gatepost at the Holyroodhouse Palace and also at the gatehouse of the gallery by the palace.
* Historic fortress of Edinburgh St Margaret’s Chapel at the main castle and in from of the National War Museum.
*At the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots and in the Kings fountain which can be found at Linlithgow Palace.
*On the stone carving on the St Andrews University, countries first University which was found in 15th century.
*One and only country’s water-based unicorn can be found in Dundee. Its head is on the wooden warship which is one of the oldest in the world.
* It decorates The Queens chair in the Thistle Chapel in Edinburgh.
* One of the oldest castles in Scotland have several unicorns. It is Delgatie Castle in Aberdeenshire.