The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (not to be confused with the National Monument). It stands in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh, opposite the Jenners department store on Princes Street and near to Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.1 m) high, and has a series of viewing decks reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest viewing deck is reached by a total of 287 steps (those who climb the steps can obtain a certificate commemorating the event). It is built from Binnie shale quarried in nearby Livingston; the oil which continues to leech from its matrix has helped to glue the notoriously filthy atmosphere of Victorian Edinburgh (then nicknamed "Auld Reekie" — old smokey) to the tower, leaving it an unintended sooty-black colour. Bill Bryson has described it as looking like a "gothic rocket ship".
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