The Scottish Parliament was designed by Catalan architect Enric Miralles with a distinctive roof in the shape of an upturned boat. The Queen opened the new building on 9 October 2004.
There are currently 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs).
The Scottish Parliament has the power to pass laws and has limited tax-varying capability. It also holds the Scottish Executive to account. The "devolved matters" over which it has responsibility include education, health, agriculture, and justice. Foreign policy remains with Westminster
Their was a national legislative body up to 1707 it merged with the Parliament of England through the Act of Union to form the Parliament of Great Britain. The current Parliament was established by the Scotland Act 1998. The first meeting of the new Parliament as a devolved legislature was on 12 May 1999.
Prior to the Act of Union 1707, Scotland was an independent nation which had the Parliament of Scotland as its legislative body. Initial Scottish proposals in the negotiation over the Union suggested a devolved Parliament be retained in Scotland but this was not accepted by the English negotiators.
For the next three hundred years the Scottish Parliament remained an important element in Scottish national identity, and suggestions for a 'devolved' parliament were made before 1911. The triggering event that caused an increase in Scottish nationalism was the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the late 1960s. Scottish nationalists began to argue that the funds from this oil were not benefiting Scotland as much as they should