The Palace of Holyroodhouse (/?h?l??ru?d/ or /?ho?l??ru?d/), commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining.
Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. The 16th-century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public throughout the year, except when members of the Royal Family are in residence.
The palace as it stands today was built between 1671?1678 in a quadrangle layout, approximately 230 feet (70?m) from north to south and 230 feet (70?m) from east to west, with the exception of the 16th-century north-west tower built by?James V.?Sir William Bruce?designed the 3-storey plus attic?classical?palace for?Charles II, upon the restoration of the monarchy. The principal entrance is located on the west front in a recessed 2-storey range that links the 16th-century north-west tower with a matching south-west tower each with a pair of circular angle-turrets with ball-finialled, conical bell-cast roofs. The entry gateway is framed by massive coupled Roman Doric columns, with the carved Royal Arms of Scotland and an octagonal cupola with clock-face above.