Inverness is often called the capital of the Highlands. Inverness means the mouth of the River Ness. It is an ancient settlement. In the 6th century AD St Columba is supposed to have visited the Pictish king Brude at his fortress there. Centuries later, in 1040, Macbeth is supposed to have murdered King Duncan at his castle, which stood on the site of Auld Castlehill.
During the 16th century and the 17th century Inverness was a busy port and market town. In 1591 it was granted a new charter called the Golden Charter.
In 1562 Queen Mary came to Inverness. She tried to enter the castle but the governor refused to admit her as his family had a disagreement with the Queen. She stayed somewhere else in the town but later the governor was hanged.
Inverness Castle was enlarged in the early 18th century by George Wade. However the Jacobites captured the fort in March 1746. After the Jacobites were crushed at Culloden in April government forces laid mines under the fort to destroy it. It is said that the Frenchman in charge of laying the mines was killed himself when they exploded early. After the collapse of the Jacobite rebellion the government erected Fort George some miles from Inverness.
By the early 20th century Inverness had a population of 21,000. Inverness doubled in size during the 20th century. Meanwhile the British cabinet met outside London for the first time in 1921 when it gathered in Inverness Castle. Tourism is now a major industry in Inverness. Eden Court Theatre opened in 1976. Inverness Kiltmaker Exhibition opened in 1994. Inverness is also a regional shopping centre. Eastgate Centre opened in the 1980s. Meanwhile a new Ness Bridge was built in 1962. Kessock Bridge was built in 1982
Inverness is twinned with one German city, Augsburg and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux.
Inverness was made a city in Dec 2000.