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Rosslyn Chapel

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Just outside the village of Roslin near Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel was made world famous by Dan Brown’s best-selling 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code, but it has been appreciated for its intricate stone carvings since long before then. Built in the mid-15th century by the Orkney earl William Sinclair, many of the designs are supposedly connected to Freemasonry and the Knights Templar, and as a result Rosslyn Chapel has been the subject of many myths and legends. There’s also plenty of speculation on what the Sinclair vault conceals, with theories that it contains everything from the Holy Grail to the body of Jesus himself.

From the outside, Rosslyn Chapel looks like a beautiful, mini cathedral. Scotland’s churches are normally very somber, but inside this chapel it’s incredibly ornate—every inch of stone has been sculpted into flowers, vines, and figures by the exceptionally skilled masons of the day.

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