The European Room, Edinburgh City Chambers
Edinburgh City Chambers, 253 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ
Built in 1753, the building known today as Edinburgh City Chambers was designed by John Adam as the Royal Exchange for the city’s merchants to trade in. Having outgrown their ancient accommodation just across the Royal Mile in the Old Tolbooth, the Town Council moved into part of the building in 1811, before purchasing the whole site in 1893.
In 1904, the Council remodelled and extended it, creating many new spaces including the current Council Chamber, the Members’ Lounge and the European Room. City architects Robert Morham and Ebeneezer James MacRae were responsible for much of the design work and alterations of the late 19th and early 20th century.
The European Room is one of the most impressive spaces in the City Chamber. Its walls are lined with paintings by Willliam Hole RSA which depict scenes from six centuries of Edinburgh history. Another notable and much loved local public commission by William Hole is the Processional Frieze in the entrance hall of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in the New Town.
Used today as a function space for weddings, banquets and more, it’s sadly not open this year for in-person Doors Open Days visits. Instead, the City of Edinburgh Council and Captured Realities have produced the immersive 360° tour below that allows you to enjoy a virtual visit and view William Hole’s paintings in their originally intended setting.