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These lichen-covered ruins, among the most evocative in Europe, are all that's left of an ecclesiastical community established by Cistercian monks in the 12th century. The tall walls still standing today follow the lines of the original abbey, but they were largely constructed in the 15th century. The Gothic design moved Sir Walter Scott to write in the Lay of the Last Minstrel, "If thou would'st view fair Melrose aright, go visit in the pale moonlight." The author was also instrumental in ensuring that the decayed remains were preserved in the 19th century. You can still view its sandstone shell, filled with elongated windows and carved capitals, and the finely decorated masonry. It is believed that, per his wishes, the heart of Robert the Bruce is interred in the abbey.