Glasgow is the third most populous city in the UK and the largest in Scotland. It covers an area of almost sixty-eight miles and has a population of six hundred thousand people. It is located on River Clyde, nestled in Scotland’s central lowlands. For thousands of years the area around Glasgow has been settled because of the excellent fishing conditions afforded by the river. However, the Romans were the first to build permanent settlements on the lowlands. The actual city was established by Saint Mungo during the sixth century.
By the twelfth century the city was incorporated and its cathedral was the seat of the Archbishops of Glasgow. The first stone cathedral was erected in 1136 and was later replaced by a bigger cathedral around the end of the twelfth century. In the fifteenth century the first organized center of higher education was established, the University of Glasgow. Within a hundred years the city became one of the most important academic and religious centers in all of Scotland.
The sixteenth century saw some of the most significant developments in Glasgow. The first development was that the cities artisan class began harnessing tremendous political power. The second development was that Glasgow turned into a major trading city with the Clyde River being the perfect instrument for transporting goods to the rest of Scotland. Its proximity to the Atlantic ocean also allowed American tobacco, sugar and cotton to be imported and then distributed to the rest of Europe. Glasgow’s economy was further bolstered by the large quantities of iron and coal in the area. This allowed the city to become a major industrial powerhouse with cotton mills and textile factories employing large quantities of people. During the latter years of the nineteenth century Glasgow became one of the wealthiest cities in the world and constructed a complex network of public transport, museums and parks.
Glasgow’s prosperity would come to an end during the Great Depression. Unemployment in the city rose and manufacturing started to decline. This was halted briefly during World War II, as the cities shipyards and manufacturing centers began to work at full capacity. But, this didn’t come without a price. German began an extensive bombing campaign on the city and caused a massive destruction of housing which displaced tens of thousands of Glaswegians. After the war, the cities industrial capacity continued to decline all the way up to the 1960s. During the Sixties radical changes began to take place in the city. This was started by Glasgow’s politicians taking steps to improve the city. The tenement slums were torn down and modern housing was erected in its place.
Today, Glasgow’s economy is based upon shipbuilding, engineering, publishing and textile production. The city is also becoming increasingly dependant on tourism. In fact, Glasgow is the second most popular destination in the entire country and is the fourth most popular in the United Kingdom. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was founded in 1901 and designed by the architect Sir John W. Simpson. It houses one of the most impressive collections of artwork in Europe. These include works from Dutch Renaissance painters, French Impressionists and Scottish Colourist.
Glasgow Cathedral is another tourist favorite in the city. Its called by a variety of different names which include High Kirk of Glasgow, St Mungo’s Cathedral and St Kentigern’s. It was built before the Reformation and served as the seat of the Archbishop of Glasgow. Another church located in the city is St. Mary’s Cathedral. St. Mary’s Cathedral was built in 1871 and is located in the west end of Glasgow. This cathedral rises one hundred and eighty nine feet and features a prominent central spire. St Luke’s Orthodox Cathedral is another church for visitors to take a look at in Glasgow. This church was built in 1877 and was designed by architect James Sellars. This church was designed in the classic Gothic style. Other churches in the city include St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Jordanhill Parish Church, Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church, St. John’s Renfield Church and Wellington Church.
The oldest public museum in Glasgow is the Hunterian Museum. This museum is spread out over several buildings on the campus of the University of Glasgow. This museum was opened in 1807 and its initial inventory was comprised of items bequeathed by William Hunter. Today its spread over four buildings which include the main museum, the Zoology Museum, Hunterian Gallery and Mackintosh House. The main museum has display which pertain to William Hunter and his collections.
Located on the southern bank of the Clyde River is the Glasgow Science Center. This science building is composed of three buildings which include an IMAX theater, Glasgow Tower and the Science Mall. The Science Mall is shaped like a crescent moon and is composed of titanium. It has three floors and over two hundred and fifty exhibits that have a hands on approach. It also contains a planetarium. The IMAX theater is the only theater of its kind to have been erected in the country. It can seat over three hundred and seventy people and the screen measure sixty by eighty feet. The Glasgow Tower is three hundred and eighty one feet high and is considered to be the tallest tower in the entire country of Scotland.
A popular place in Glasgow to view concerts is the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. It covers an area of over sixty-seven thousand square feet and has five exhibition halls. It was opened in 1979.
The city of Glasgow is also filled with lots of interesting restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes and shops littered all over the city. If your looking for lodging in the city there are also plenty to choose from. There are hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast and many other places to stay. No matter if its a night, weekend or week.