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Charlotte Square Gardens is a city square (or plaza, if you're feeling European) located to the west of George Street. But who is Charlotte, and why does she have a square named after her? Good question.
Charlotte Square Gardens' original blueprints (or whatever was used in the days of Georgian architecture) stipulated that the square should be named St George's Square. But concerns arose that that might cause confusion with another Edinburghian George Square, the one you'll probably recognise as Assembly's home during Edinburgh Fringe. So, there was only one thing for it - the gardens were named after King George III's wife, Queen Charlotte. Luckily, George and Charlotte's daughter was also called Charlotte, meaning the gardens are technically named after both. Talk about two birds with one stone.
The square was originally intended to mirror its easterly cousin, St Andrew Square, found at the other end of George Street. Funnily enough, zip ahead to the 21st century and the two squares hold not only an architectural symmetry, but a cultural cohesion.During Edinburgh Fringe, St Andrew Square plays host to The Stand In The Square and The Famous Spiegeltent. But, in the final three weeks of August, Charlotte Square holds the literary fort with Edinburgh International Book Festival. Here you'll find over 800 events, a couple of large bookshops, a café-bar and a Spiegeltent. If you want to know more, check out our books festivals hub page for recommendations, reviews and interviews. Speaking of which, why not read up on Jura Unbound festival on our website, too? Probably your sort of thing, if you're of the bookish persuasion.