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Dear Green Place
Scotland’s largest city is characterised by the famous Victorian architecture of its many streets, squares and historical monuments telling of a fascinating and influential past. Although a powerful academic and ecclesiastical centre by the end of the 15th century, Glasgow’s prominence grew when trade opportunities turned to the Americas in the 18th century. Fortunes were made from tobacco then sugar then cotton, and as the 19th century dawned and the Industrial Revolution took hold, the city turned to industries like shipbuilding and heavy engineering; Glasgow benefiting from its position on the mighty River Clyde.
The industrial wealth and a benevolent council saw great public buildings, museums, galleries and libraries being erected and Glasgow was, without doubt, the ‘Second City of the Empire’. Though the heavy industries which brought the city unparalleled wealth and fame have almost disappeared, the tangible legacy that remains is of a city with a great architectural and cultural heritage.
Glasgow today is visibly a city in transformation and the gleaming gold and red sandstone, hidden behind decades of industrial soot, reveal the finest examples of Victorian architecture anywhere in the world. George Square, the heart of Glasgow, is dominated by the grandiose City Chambers, one of the finest and grandest town halls in Britain, and the city’s gridiron streets are lined row upon row of beautifully preserved Victorian buildings. With its architecture among the finest in Europe, it is no surprise the city was designated UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.
Glasgow’s history and culture is retold in over twenty museums and galleries, each with its own individual collection, and most with free admission. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses a wealth of treasures, including the finest municipal collection of paintings in Britain, and the nearby Museum of Transport has a comprehensive collection of historic vehicles. The Gallery of Modern Art is one of Scotland’s major contemporary art venues and the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery is a must see for fans of the famous Glaswegian architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Another ‘must see’ is the internationally famous Burrell Collection, an extraordinary art collection amassed over some 80 years by a wealthy shipping magnate, and generously bequeathed to the city in 1944. For a city passionate about sport there is the Museum of Scottish Football at Hampden, Scotland’s national stadium. The city is home to the Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, two national symphony orchestras, the Theatre Royal, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and a varied range of other cultural activities. To rival the Edinburgh Festival, Glasgow holds its own annual arts festival, Mayfest, as well as folk and jazz festivals in July. With such a full and exciting range of entertainment venues and activities, the city was acclaimed as European City of Culture in 1990.
There are over 70 parks and gardens in Glasgow; thus it remains true to its Gaelic name Glas-ghu meaning ‘dear green place’. Glasgow Green is the oldest public park in Britain, Kelvingrove Park is dominated by the gothic Glasgow University, and the Botanic Gardens, with one of the finest glasshouses in the country, has a unique collection of plants.
The economic re-birth of Glasgow has its future in the service industries, in business conferences, exhibitions and indeed tourism. Along the Clyde, the old docks area is now home to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, the new 3,000-seater conference auditorium affectionately known as the ‘Armadillo’, and Glasgow’s Science Centre and Observation Tower. The city is now the UK’s largest retail sector outwith London, thus shopaholics will enjoy Glasgow’s great shopping thoroughfares, Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street, as well as the modern St Enoch’s Centre, Buchanan Galleries and Italian Centre. Scotland’s premier centre is Princes Square, an upmarket mall featuring top designer fashion, and for fine jewellery head for the Argyle Arcade.
This once busy industrial city has been transformed into a vibrant, exciting and sophisticated metropolis, of noble spirit, handsome buildings and invincible spirit. A cosmopolitan city that will surprise and delight visitors with its stylish yet laid-back, fashionable yet friendly, forward-thinking yet down-to-earth charm.
Glasgow is a gateway for travel to northern Scotland and the western coast, as Loganair operates flights between the city and Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh and Tiree.
Loganair also connects Glasgow with Bergen, Leeds/Bradford and Manchester.
Useful InformationGlasgow Tourist Information Centre
11 George Square
Tel: +44 (0) 141 204 4400
Fax: +44 (0) 141 221 3524
For Glasgow Airport Information click here