Glasgow – the cultural capital of the British Isles


Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the fourth most populous in the UK. It is located in the western part of Scotland, on the River Clyde.

Glasgow’s deliverance from its usual gloominess is one of the modern wonders. Thirty years ago, slums, unemployment and violence reigned here. But already in 1990 the city won the title of the European Capital of Culture and in 1999 the title of the United Kingdom’s City of Architecture and Design. Industry achievements played a big part in this, but so did the magnificent art collections donated to the city by such patriots as Sir William Burrell.

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In the 18th century, merchants from Glasgow, who grew rich by trading cotton, rum and tobacco imported from America, built a commercial city with magnificent residences, imposing offices and warehouses. Victorian bankers and insurance agents decorated it with beautiful squares and lawns.

In the nineteenth century, the city’s population grew tenfold. Along the River Clyde, shipyards lined the river, many steel mills sprang up, and Europe’s worst slums emerged, surviving until the end of the 20th century. And it took extremely bold measures to change the situation.

George Square

This square is surrounded by huge public buildings, including the City Chambers, 1888. St. Vincent Street goes west from the square, on both sides of it the monumental statues of unicorns, erected in XIX century above the entrance to the Old Post Office, on Ionic columns at the Old Scottish Bank (now a pub), on the Royal Chambers of pink sandstone and the buildings of the Insurance Company.

Running parallel to Vincent Street to the north is the famous Sauchiehall Street, once the noisiest and busiest street in the city. Even further north is No. 145 Buckloch Street. It is an apartment building built in 1892. Agnes Toward lived here from 1911 to 1965. She never threw anything away, so the top floor, cluttered with stuff, has become a mere monument to history.

Glasgow School of Art.

At the corner of Scott Street and Renfrew Street stands the Glasgow School of Art. It is an Art Nouveau masterpiece by the famous early 20th century designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868- 1928) . Guides will introduce you to Mackintosh’s revolutionary ideas: the abundance of space, the use of metal and painted glass.

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St. Mungo’s Cathedral.

In the interior of the magnificent, ship-like medieval St. Mungo’s Cathedral, the floor descends in steps from west to east, toward the crypt. Under its vaults is the tomb of St. Mungo, who built a chapel here in the 6th century.

Nearby, on Castle Street, is the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Customs and Art. This fascinating collection includes Indian gods, Taoist porcelain, amulets of all kinds, Islamic prayer rugs, Egyptian mummies, and Christian stained glass windows.

Across the street stands Providence Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house, built in 1471 for one of the canons of St. Mungo’s Cathedral. The house may also have been the home of a regular tavern, as the display on the second floor suggests. Near the house is a well-maintained herb garden.

Kelvingrove Park.

Around the beautiful Kelvingrove Park in the west end of Glasgow are four art collections.

In the Picture Gallery and Museum, housed in a spacious sandstone pseudo-chateau (1901), there are paintings by English and European masters. The most interesting works are by Scottish artists (especially the bleak canvases by McCulloch and Hamilton), but also by Constable’s Hampstead Wasteland, Turner’s Modern Italy, Flemish genre scenes, group portraits and landscapes, works by Corot and Monet.

Other departments of the museum are devoted to national history and archaeology. There is also a fine collection of arms and armor.

The Transportation Museum in Kelvin Hall, across from the gallery, displays enough models of steam trains, cars, streetcars, and ships to delight any child’s heart. Here, too, is a reconstruction of a prewar Glasgow street.

On the other side of the park, near the university, is the Hunter Art Gallery. There are paintings and drawings by such masters as Pissarro, Corot, Rembrandt, Whistler, and a reconstruction of the main rooms of the town house, decorated by Art Nouveau genius Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Nearby is the Hunter Museum, which has the oldest zoological and archaeological collections in Scotland (since 1807) .

To the north, at 870 Garscube Road, stands the Mackintosh-designed King’s Cross Church (closed as of late), a cone-shaped sandstone structure.

Burrell Assembly.

Five kilometers southwest of downtown Glasgow is Scotland’s most famous private collection of outstanding works of art. It was the raison d’être of local shipowner Sir William Burrell (1861-1958) . In 1944 he donated it to his hometown, but continued to add to it.

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The collection of 8,000 items is housed in a purpose-built building in Pollock Park. The exhibit is also convenient for independent viewing. There are medieval-style carved doors and bronze statues by Rodin and Epstein, Etruscan mirrors, Persian rugs, Greek incense vessels, Chinese pottery and lacquer, knight’s armor and 16th-century German religious reliefs. There is also the famous Judith by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1530). French Impressionism is represented by paintings by Millais, Cisley, Cézanne, Degas and Manet.

This museum shows the hobbies and tastes of a Catholic millionaire.

Around Glasgow.

North of Glasgow is the Campsy Fells, the closest hills to the city where you can walk. Some of them reach a height of 540 m.

GETTING THERE At Strathblane, turn right down the A891 to Lennoxtown (8km) and follow the B822, known as the Crow Road, over the unspoilt plateau to the valley floor of the small town of Fintry. Wander up any path here.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is a popular recreation area north of Glasgow. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy the peace and beauty at any time of year except on a weekend in mid-summer when the A82 is jammed with traffic.

The narrow, winding A82 runs along the western shore of the lake. An even narrower but much less congested highway on the eastern shore is separated from the lake in places by trees. On this highway, it is about 10 km from Balmaa to the Rowardennan Hotel. Here the road ends.

You can walk along the entire lake on the Western Mountain Hiking Trail. Or, if you’re too lazy to walk, you can take a boat between the islands of Loch Lomond from Balloch to its southern end. Get to the pier early or you’ll have to wait in line.

When to arrive.

The warmest months are May through September, but be prepared for rain.

  • The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Argyle Street, opened in 1901 to house one of the finest collections of secular art in Europe.
  • Glasgow’s historic necropolis, a cemetery with a wide variety of monuments and a huge statue of John Knox.
  • The extraordinary Burrell Collection, donated to the city by the shipbuilding magnate and housed in a stunning modern building in Polk Country Park. Providence Lordship on Castle Street is one of the few surviving medieval buildings in town. Today it is open as a museum.
  • The Glasgow School of Art in the Garnethill neighborhood is one of the most famous creations of the city’s favorite son, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
  • The Gallery of Modern Art – ironically, it’s housed in a lovely 18th-century building, and it’s always full of visitors.
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Fun fact

Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, called Glasgow “the cleanest, finest and most perfectly built city in Britain, except London”.


Glasgow (United Kingdom) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Glasgow with descriptions, guides and maps.

City of Glasgow (UK).

Glasgow is the largest city of Scotland, located in the north-west of Britain. It is one of the main cultural centers of the United Kingdom (if you leave out London) with its typical Scottish charm and magnificent architecture. Glasgow is an example of skilful modern urban planning, when in the past the big industrial center was transformed into a popular tourist destination with the preservation of the historical image. It is a beautiful green city with many parks, museums, stores and attractions from the Middle Ages to the present day.

What to do (Glasgow):

Explore Glasgow

From £195 per tour.

Explore Glasgow

City tour

Geography and climate

Glasgow is situated in the northwest of the United Kingdom in the middle of the Mid-Scottish Lowlands. The River Clyde runs through the city. The climate is temperate maritime, characterized by cool and rainy summers and mild winters.

Glasgow Christmas Market

Glasgow Christmas Market

Tourist Information

  1. Population – more than 620 thousand people.
  2. Area – 175,5 km 2 .
  3. Language – English and Scottish.
  4. Currency – pound sterling.
  5. Time – UTC 0, in summer UTC +1.
  6. The United Kingdom is not a member of the Schengen agreement. Visas can be obtained by personal visits to accredited visa centers located in Moscow, Novosibirsk, St. Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, and Yekaterinburg.
  7. Trains from southern Scotland arrive at Central Station, and trains from Edinburgh and the northern part of the country – at Queen Street station.
  8. Glasgow has a fairly large international airport, which takes even intercontinental flights.
  9. Glasgow is considered the best city for shopping in Scotland and second in the UK (after London). The main shopping area is the so-called “Golden Z” – the area bounded by Argyle, Buchanan and Sauchiehall streets. In the suburbs of Glasgow there are several large shopping centers. In the historic part of the city you can find a large shopping complex Buchanan Galleries.
  10. Glasgow is famous for its pubs, which are concentrated in the West End, Charing Cross, around Queen Street Station and around the University.
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Glasgow was founded in the late 6th century and has worked its way up from a small rural settlement to Scotland’s largest seaport. Legend has it that the city was founded by St. Mungo, who built a monastery on the banks of the Molendinar River (now the site of the cathedral). The first written mention of Glasgow dates back to the 12th century. By the end of that century the city had become an important religious center. Between 1175 and 1178, Glasgow received city rights and the right to trade, which contributed to the growth and development of the city. In 1451, a university was founded here, which is one of the oldest in Britain.


Panorama of the city

In the 16th century, the city’s importance waned a bit. The reason for this was the Reformation. In 1611, Glasgow became a royal city. Although throughout the 16th and part of the 17th centuries, it still remained a province. In the second half of the 17th century, Glasgow becomes a major center of transatlantic trade. After severe fires, wooden buildings are replaced by stone houses. In the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution made Glasgow one of Britain’s major industrial centers. In 19th century it became the largest city in Scotland. Now Glasgow is one of Britain’s most prosperous cities.

Glasgow Central Station

Glasgow Central Station


Glasgow has a wonderful architectural heritage in the form of remarkable Victorian buildings and several monuments of the Middle Ages period. Many of the buildings in the old city were built of red or light sandstone and date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.



The Cathedral, a medieval cathedral, is the most significant historical monument in Glasgow. The cathedral was founded in the 12th century and is dedicated to St. Mungo (he is also buried here). This imposing ancient building is a magnificent example of Scottish Gothic.



Behind the cathedral is an old Victorian cemetery, which contains numerous ancient monuments, sculptures, tombs and mausoleums.

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Glasgow University

Glasgow University

Glasgow University is one of the oldest universities of Great Britain, founded in the 15th century. Here you can visit an interesting museum, which includes collections on ethnography, zoology, geology and archaeology, including finds from the Roman period.

St George's Square

St. George’s Square

St. George Square is the heart of Glasgow’s historic center, surrounded by beautiful Victorian houses. Its most interesting features are the magnificent town hall and 12 statues of famous residents.

Provand's Lordship

Provand’s Lordship

Provand’s Lordship is Glasgow’s oldest house and one of only four surviving medieval houses. It is now home to a museum that displays historic 17th-century royal portraits and furniture.



Kelvingrove is an art gallery and museum located in a beautiful historic Spanish Baroque building. It displays valuable works of art, as well as a collection of weapons and armor.



Riverside is a transportation museum where you can find models of ships, locomotives, streetcars, antique cars and horse-drawn carriages. The museum is housed in a striking modern building that is one of the most striking examples of modern architecture.

Pollock House

Pollock House

Pollock House is an old Edwardian mansion built in 1752. The building is now open to the public and contains a collection of paintings by Spanish artists.

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green is the oldest of the city’s parks, located minutes from the historic center. The park was founded in 1662. It is now home to a museum of modern city history and a greenhouse with beautiful collections of tropical plants.

Science Center

Science Center

The Science Center is a magnificent modern architectural complex on the south bank of the Clyde River. Includes a science complex (various science and educational exhibitions), IMAX movie theater and a 127-meter high observation tower.

St Mary's Cathedral

St. Mary’s Cathedral

St. Mary’s Cathedral is a beautiful neo-Gothic cathedral located on the west side of Glasgow. It dates from the late 19th century.

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Tron Church of St. George

Tron St. George’s Church is a former parish church completed in the early 19th century.

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