Edinburgh is home to its fair share of well-loved, well-rubbed statues. But its oldest statue remains safely out of reach, towering atop a plinth in a little-visited parking lot in Parliament Square, where it's backdropped by the imposing St Giles' Cathedral.

The statue honors Charles II, a man who came to power during troubled times. His father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall Palace in 1649. Though the Parliament of Scotland declared Charles II king, England came under the rule of Oliver Cromwell, who led the country as a de facto republic. Cromwell defeated Charles II in the 1651 Battle of Worcester, ending the English Civil War and forcing the latter to flee to continental Europe.

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