Exploring Glasgow: A City of Art, Architecture and Culture

Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, is situated on the River Clyde in the western Scottish Lowlands. It is renowned worldwide for its art, architecture and culture, boasting a plethora of museums that draw in visitors from all over the world. Did you know that the first ever soccer game of the International Association was played in Glasgow? Scotland and England faced off in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club, with the match ending in a 0-0 draw. In 1800, engineer Henry Bell presented plans to build the first steam-powered vessel.

Until then, ships were powered only by wind and currents. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must-see for any visitor to Glasgow, with 22 state-of-the-art themed galleries showcasing an impressive 8,000 objects. Afterward, head to Mackintosh at the Willow to view the original designs from 1903 and pick up some souvenirs of their creations after enjoying afternoon tea. The city also offers many other examples of striking architecture.

The Glasgow Tower is the only structure on Earth that has the capacity to rotate 360 degrees in the prevailing wind, and holds the Guinness World Record for being the tallest freestanding structure in the world that rotates completely. With more than 20 museums, most of which offer free admission to the public, Glasgow is a cultural hub. In May 2002, it was named one of the “5 best cities to eat and drink in the UK” by Which? due to its ever-evolving food and beverage scene, with a mix of modern, quality and affordable places. From brunch to afternoon tea, from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants, there are plenty of tempting options for all tastes. As a UNESCO City of Music and European City of Culture in 1990, Glasgow is applauded for its art scene.

The restoration of the School of Art honored renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh whose design sensibility shaped how the world views Glasgow today. Eleven fossil tree trunks can be found in Fossil Grove, Glasgow, which are around 330 million years old. These fossilized tree stumps were discovered in 1887 and a museum was quickly erected around them for conservation. In 1817, the Royal Bank of Scotland acquired the building and it now houses the Gallery of Modern Art. Built in the 11th century, this medieval cathedral is located in the tomb of Saint Mungo and was fortunately saved almost intact because Protestants reused it for their own worship. At the Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow you can see the original ultrasound machine that transformed medicine when it was first used in 1950s. Glasgow is also known for its Glasgow patron saint - a dialect other than Scottish language that can be difficult for those coming from out of town to understand.

From imposing River Clyde to historic Merchant City, there are plenty of activities to enjoy in Glasgow - from hiking trails and city tours to cycling plans and trails around Glasgow. It was not until after the union of Scottish and English crowns (160) that Glasgow grew significantly. There are more than 20 museums and art galleries in Glasgow featuring works by some of world's most famous artists. As world leaders who attended COP26 Climate Summit may have learned this week, it can be difficult to be green in certain parts of Glasgow. The name “Glasgow” first appeared in early 11th century as “Glasgu” or “Glascou” which are thought to refer to grassy ravine located east of Glasgow Cathedral. In fact, it comes from British “glas” (greyish green) and “cöü” (hollow).

In leafy West End you can find Hotel du Vin One Devonshire Gardens - a converted stretch of Victorian terraced houses - which has long been synonymous with luxury. Glasgow's economy includes traditional heavy engineering, advanced engineering and manufacturing, aerospace technology and development (especially satellite production), information and communication technology, software engineering as well as innovations in renewable and low-carbon energy. With Industrial Revolution came coal mining, iron smelting, chemical manufacturing and especially shipbuilding which developed in Glasgow early 19th century. The area south of Clyde is known as Gorbals which did not become part of Glasgow until 19th century. However there had been settlement on banks of River Clyde since prehistoric times even Romans built several outposts in area now known as Glasgow designed to keep Celtic and Pictic rebels from north away.