The Great Hall Ceiling at the National Portrait Gallery – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura
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Edinburgh, Scotland

The Great Hall Ceiling at the National Portrait Gallery

Sprawled across the Great Hall ceiling are various constellations and images relating to the zodiac.  

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At the center of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is the Great Hall, a massive work of art unto itself. One of the first things visitors notice after entering the National Portrait Gallery is the giant fresco mural that surrounds the entire hall. The mural features 155 important figures featured throughout Scottish history. Above them is the Great Hall’s zodiacal ceiling.

The ceiling features more than 2,000 golden stars and around 47 constellations. The beautiful designs sprawling across the ceiling were crafted by artist William Hole. Hole was also the lead artist on designing the gallery’s historic fresco. The Great Hall is the perfect place for anyone who wants to do a bit of stargazing, even on a rainy day. 

Know Before You Go

Open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission, although some exhibitions do charge.  

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