Edinburgh, is the capital of Scotland and its second-largest city. It is situated on the east coast of the central lowlands, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, on the North sea. It forms the City of Edinburgh council area; the city council area includes urban Edinburgh and a small rural area.
It has been the capital of Scotland since 1437 and is the seat of the country's parliament. The city was one of the major centres of the enlightenment (see also Scottish Enlightenment), led by the University of Edinburgh. The Old Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. In the census of 2001, Edinburgh had a total resident population of 448,624, making it the 7th largest city in the United Kingdom.