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This is arguably the most picturesque dwelling house in Edinburgh's Old Town. It's characteristic of the "lands" that used to flank the Royal Mile, and the interior is noteworthy for the painted ceiling. John Knox is acknowledged as the father of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the Protestant tenets of which he established in 1560. While some regard him as a prototypical Puritan, he actually proposed progressive changes in the ruling of the church and in education. But Knox lived at a time of great religious and political upheaval; he spent 2 years as a galley slave and later lived in exile in Geneva. Upon his return, he became minister of St. Giles and worked to ensure the Reformation's success in Scotland.

Even if you're not overly interested in the firebrand reformer (who may have never lived here anyway), this late-15th-century house still merits a visit. Before Knox allegedly moved in, it was the home of James Mosman, goldsmith to the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots (no friend of Knox). The house is now integrated into the completely modernized Scottish Storytelling Centre.