Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands.
The present site of Glasgow has been used since prehistoric times for settlement due to it being the furthest downstream fording point of the River Clyde, at the point of its confluence with the Molendinar Burn. After the Romans left Caledonia the settlement was part of the extensive Kingdom of Strathclyde, with its capital at Dumbarton 15 mi (24 km) downstream, which merged in the 9th century with other regions to create the united Kingdom of Scotland. The origins of Glasgow as an established city derive ultimately from its medieval position as Scotland's second largest bishopric. Glasgow increased in importance during the 10th and 11th centuries as the site of this bishopric, reorganised by King David I of Scotland and John, Bishop of Glasgow.
Glasgow grew from a hamlet on the River Clyde to become one of the largest seaports in Britain. Expanding from the medieval Bishopric of Glasgow and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 15th century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with British North America and the British West Indies. With the Industrial Revolution, the city and surrounding region shifted to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of Heavy Engineering, most notably in the Shipbuilding and Marine engineering industry, which produced many innovative and famous vessels. Glasgow was known as the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period. Today it is one of Europe's top ten financial centres and is home to many of Scotland's leading businesses.
The city centre is based on a grid system of streets on the north bank of the River Clyde. The heart of the city is George Square, site of many of Glasgow's public statues and the elaborate Victorian Glasgow City Chambers, headquarters of Glasgow City Council. To the south and west are the shopping precincts of Argyle Street, Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street, the latter featuring more upmarket retailers and winner of the Academy of Urbanism "Great Street Award" 2008. The main shopping centres are Buchanan Galleries and the St. Enoch Centre, with the up-market Princes Square and the Italian Centre specialising in designer labels. Glasgow's retail portfolio forms the UK's second largest and most economically important retail sector after Central London.
|The Merchant City|
Glasgow is now the envy of many European cities for its amazing and eclectic restaurant and café scene. During the summer months, enjoy alfresco dining in the city centre's Royal Exchange Square or Buchanan Street or on the cobbled streets of the West End and Merchant City.
|The People's Palace|
- Glasgow Cathedral, also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Kentigern's or St Mungo's Cathedral, is today a gathering of the Church of Scotland in Glasgow. The title cathedral is honorific and historic, dating from the period before the Scottish Reformation and its status as the Roman Catholic mother church of the Archdiocese of Glasgow and the Cathedra of the Archbishop of Glasgow. The current congregation is part of the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Glasgow. Glasgow Cathedral is located north of High Street and east of Cathedral Street, beside the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. The building is a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture. It is also one of the few Scottish medieval churches (and the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland) to have survived the Reformation not unroofed.
- The People's Palace is Glasgow's social history museum and a chance to see the story of the people and city of Glasgow from 1750 to the present. You can see paintings, prints and photographs displayed alongside a wealth of historic artefacts, film and computer interactives. On the top floor is the Glasgow history painting series made by artist Ken Currie in 1987. The series commemorates the massacre of the Calton Weavers, which marked the birth of the trade union movement and visually presents the political history of working class struggle in the city. Attached to the People's Palace is the elegant Victorian glasshouse -the Winter Gardens -where you can relax among the tropical plants and enjoy the café. There is a programme of temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year. The Peoples Palace sits at the heart of the historic Glasgow Green by the River Clyde. A major renewal project is ongoing: follow the vehicle diversion signs during 2003.
- The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum The building houses one of Europe's great civic art collections. Since its 2003–2006 refurbishment, the museum has been the most popular free-to-enter visitor attraction inScotland, and the most visited museum in the United Kingdom outside London. The gallery is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style some years later, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). The gallery was designed by Sir John W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901, as the Palace of Fine Arts for the Glasgow International Exhibition held in that year. It is built in a Spanish Baroque style, follows the Glaswegian tradition of using Dumfriesshire red sandstone, and includes an entire program of architectural sculpture by George Frampton, Francis Derwent Wood and other sculptors. The centrepiece of the central hall is a massive Pipe Organ installed by Lewis & Co.
- The Burrell Collection. When Sir William Burrell and his wife, Constance, Lady Burrell, gifted his collection of over 9,000 works of art to Glasgow, the city acquired one of the greatest collections created by one person. William Burrell had been an art collector since his teens, and the collection is made up of a vast array of works of all periods and from all over the world. You can wander round important collections of medieval art, tapestries, alabasters, stained glass and English oak furniture, European paintings, including works by Degas and Cézanne, an important collection of Islamic art, and modern sculpture including works by Epstein and Rodin. Children will be fascinated by the works from days of long ago -we have a fine collection of works from ancient China, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Architectural features from the collection have been integrated into the structure of the building -you can walk under arches built for medieval lords and ladies. There are also reconstructions of rooms from Sir Williams home, furnished in gothic style with items from the collection.
- Glasgow City Chambers. Has functioned as the headquarters of Glasgow City Council since 1996, and of preceding forms of municipal government in the city since 1889, located on the eastern side of the city's George Square. An eminent example of Victorian civic architecture, the building was constructed between 1882 and 1888 to a competition winning design by Glaswegian architect William Young (originally from the nearby town of Paisley). Inaugurated in August 1888 by Queen Victoria, the first council meeting was held within the chambers in October 1889. The building originally had an area of 5,016 square metres. In 1923, an extension to the east side of the building in John Street was opened and in 1984 Exchange House in George Street was completed, increasing the size of the City Chambers complex to some 14,000 square metres.
Glasgow City Chambers