Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. It sits on the River Clyde in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Over 1.2 million people in the area. Historically, a manufacturing and shipping center, Glasgow has become a popular tourist destination.
There have been fishing communities on the Clyde going back into the mists of time. However, Glasgow dates its founding from the 6th century when St. Mungo, a Christian missionary, built a church where Glasgow cathedral now stands. The settlement grew and by 1451 when the University of Glasgow was founded, the city was a religious and educational center.
Glasgow is said to have awoken from its “Medieval slumbers” in the 18th century. With the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England, Scotland now had full access to the growing British Empire. Glasgow, located by the sea in western Scotland, was well-situated for trade with Britain's colonies in North America and the Caribbean. At the same time, the area along the Clyde developed into a ship building center.
During the 19th century, Glasgow continued to grow. By 1821, its population had surpassed that of Edinburgh. In addition to shipping and ship building, it became a heavy-industry manufacturing center producing locomotives, textiles, chemicals and tobacco products. Glasgow proclaimed that it was the “Second City of the British Empire.”
Glasgow's growth continued into the early years of the 20th century. However, the Great Depression hit the area hard.
Following World War II, the city had a brief recovery but beginning in the 1960s, Glasgow encountered stiff competition from abroad, particularly from from Germany and Japan, that undermined its traditional industries.
During the last part of the 20th century, Glasgow went through a transformation. Urbam rnewal projects cleared ancient slums and new roads and bridges were built. While there is still some ship building and manufacturing, the economy shifted so that Glasgow became an important financial center and one of the largest retail centers in the UK. In addition, healthcare, biosciences, communications and tourism have became significant parts of the economy.
Many of the tourist attractions in Glasgow are cultural. It is the home of the Scottish Opera, the Scottish Ballet, the National Theatre of Scotland and the Scottish National Orchestra. It has several world class art museums including the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, the Hunterarian Gallery, the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art and the Burell Collection. It also has other museums including the popular River Museum, which opened in 2011 and has some 3,000 exhibits relating to transportation. The 13,000 seat SCEE Hydro arena is a venue for concerts as well as for sports events.
Glasgow is a mixture of architectural styles. In keeping with th city's prosperity and status, during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of grand buildings were constructed including the Glasgow City Chambers, the Kelvingrove Museum and the University of Glasgow's Gilbert Scott Building. Contrasting in style are the more modern buildings designed by influential architect and artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh who was born in Glasgow. All of these mix with contemporary office towers and futuristic arenas.
While some of Glasgow's attractions are in the city center near George Square, the attractions are spread out through the city. Public transportation includes a subway system and bus service. There are also hop-on hop off buses and taxis.
Most cruise ships visiting Glasgow dock at Greenock, about 25 miles to the west. There is train and bus service between the cruise port and Glasgow.
Although Glasgow is on the same latitude as Moscow, the climate is not as severe. The city is warmed by the nearby sea but at the same time it is subject to overcast skies. On average, there are 167 rainy days a year.
Residents speak English but there is a Glasgow dialect as well as a distinctive Glasgow accent. About one percent of the population also speaks Gaelic.
The currency is the British pound. Credit cards are widely accepted.
Above: Glasgow Cathedral was begun in the 12th century.
Below: A mural of St. Mungo, Glasgow's founder.
Glasgow landmarks: The spire of the Dilbert Scott Building at the University of Glasgow (above) and the Glasgow Municipal Chambers at George Square (below).
Modern Glasgow: The SCEE Hydro Arena (above) and the nearby "Armadillo" at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center.
Cruise destinations - Scotland - Glasgow - Overview