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The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, was placed 23rd in the QS World University Rankings in 2018.The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival.As a consequence, the Parliament of Scotland merged with the Parliament of England to form the Parliament of Great Britain, which sat at Westminster in London.The Union was opposed by many Scots, resulting in riots in the city.According to the foremost historian of this development, "Unity of social feeling was one of the most valuable heritages of old Edinburgh, and its disappearance was widely and properly lamented." Although Edinburgh's traditional industries of printing, brewing and distilling continued to grow in the 19th century, and were joined by new rubber works and engineering works, there was little industrialisation compared with other cities in Britain.

It is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery.Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland.The city's Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the Monarchy in Scotland.Edinburgh became a major intellectual centre, earning it the nickname "Athens of the North" because of its many neo-classical buildings and reputation for learning, recalling ancient Athens.From the 1770s onwards, the professional and business classes gradually deserted the Old Town in favour of the more elegant "one-family" residences of the New Town, a migration that changed the city's social character.

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