Scotland’s biggest city has transformed itself from being the once mighty powerhouse of industrial Britain to a centre for commerce, tourism, and culture. Having been awarded the European titles of City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sport (2003), joining the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative in 2008, and being the host of the Commonwealth games this July, Glasgow’s top attractions unsurprisingly take a slant towards the arts and sports arena. Here are five things to check out while in the city.
The architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Go on an amble around the city to take in the designs of one of Glasgow’s greatest architects. While far removed from the bleak utilitarianism of Modernism, Mackintosh’s style of blending the functionality and practicality of modernist ideas with the flourish of Art Nouveau and simplicity of Japanese forms. Admire his distinctive designs at House for an Art Lover, Willow Tearooms, Queen’s Cross Church, and Glasgow School of Art, considered his finest masterpiece.
The most famous and oldest of Glasgow’s parks, “The Green” – as it is known to the locals, offers highlights such as the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, Nelson’s Memorial, and the Doulton Fountain. The park is also a major venue for concerts and open air events, so do keep an eye out for happenings that take place throughout the year. Make a pit stop at the West micro-brewery, housed in the old Templeton carpet factory for a pint and a schnitzel.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Housed within a beautiful 19th century Victorian building, the Kelvingrove has 22 themes galleries filled with over 8,000 masterpieces and cultural artefacts culled from all over the world. From art to armour, Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross to a Spitfire fighter plane, the museum’s eclectic curation promises that there’ll always be something to impress visitors of any age.
This Gothic landmark, thought to have originated as a sixth-century chapel, is the oldest building in the city. Sharing its courtyard is the St. Mungo Museum, named after the city’s patron saint and displaying art that illuminates the world’s religions. Behind the cathedral is the hilltop Necropolis, the resting place for tens of thousands of eminent Victorian Glaswegians, with beautiful tombs and elaborate monuments designed by architects like Alexander Thomson and David Hamilton.
Hampden Park is an iconic place not only for Glaswegians, but also for all Scots as it is home to the national football team. If schedule permits, try to snag tickets for a scotland game here. During the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Hampden Park will play host to the Track and Field Athletics competitions and the Closing Ceremony. The stadium is also home to the Scottish Football Museum, which tells the inspiring story of Scottish football.
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