Its name comes from glas ghu Celtic for "dear green place" and still lives up to its name with over seventy parks and gardens. Glasgow splendidly incorporates old with new, especially with regard to architecture in and around the city. It is adorned with beautiful buildings, accentuated by Victorian influence, a mark of its prosperity engendered by the Industrial Revolution.
Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, saw its prosperity stem from trade with the Americas. Locally manufactured goods were exchanged for vast amounts of tobacco and sugar, which in turn were re-exported to the continent. It once had the busiest port in the world, the workshop of the British Empire and was seconded only by London. Some of the world's largest and grandest liners took to water from the River Clyde.
Glasgow can offer you a splendid cultural experience. The city is recognised as one of Europe's major centres of art, culture and education, boasting over 30 art galleries and museums. It is brimming with historical and important architecture, exhibitions, theatres, shops, parks, gardens, pubs, restaurants and wine bars.
A plentiful supply of a lively entertainment is provided in the form of concerts, opera, ballet, street shows, nightlife, live bands and music festivals, sports and events Glasgow's culture embraces the heritage of the ordinary citizen at places like The Tenement House, where you can view an example of a typical city dwelling.
The social history of Glasgow is told in the People's Palace. The industrial history of the city and its surrounding towns can be found at the Summerlee Heritage Trust in Coatbridge, where a visit may include a ride on Scotland's only working electric tramway, amongst other historic machinery. The Paisley Museum and Art Gallery tells the story of the development of the famous Paisley shawl with its distinctive pattern. Glasgow is famous for its striking architecture, heritage and culture, and has received awards like Cultural Capital of Europe in 1990 and UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.
Housed in a handsome neo-classical building in the city centre, the Gallery of Modern Art displays some fine examples of Scottish figurative art, along with collections from all over the world and a number of interactive exhibits. The material on each floor of the gallery reflects one of the four elements of fire, air, earth or water.
The Burrell Collection boasts a large collection of textiles, furniture, ceramics and other artistic objects, showing the city's cultural wealth.
The Art Gallery and Museum in Kelvingrove Park is one of Europe's finest civic art collections. Opposite is the city's Museum of Transport incorporating reconstruction of a typical Glasgow street of the 1930s. The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery situated nearby shows the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The Mackintosh House within the gallery hosts a reconstruction of the interiors of one of his former homes. The Glasgow School of Art was designed by Mackintosh and it is best appreciated from within, where the design really comes into its own, allowing as much natural light as possible to filter into the building.
Located next to Glasgow Cathedral, is the stimulating St Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art, presenting the universal themes of life and death through evocative art associated with different religious faiths.
The Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, all have regular concert programmes in custom-built halls, especially the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Mayfest, Britain's largest community festival, encompasses a whole range of visual and performing arts. It is held each year in May.
Glasgow is an excellent place for shopping, especially around Buchanan Street, Argyle Street or Sauchiehall Street. St Enoch Centre is one of the largest covered malls in Europe.
The Merchant City, the area where the entrepreneurs who traded with the Americas in the 17th
centuries, has now a selection of small distinctive shops including the Italian Centre, a concentration of Italian fashion designer shops in a converted, handsome Merchant City building.
The Barras near Glasgow Green is generally a flea market but includes entertainment and is rooted very much into life of the Glasgow people.
Glaswegian hospitality at its best can be found in the many pubs, clubs and wine bars, where visitors will be culturally influenced. Many offer live entertainment in the form of folk, jazz or modern music. Glasgow's cosmopolitan pub and restaurant scene is certainly lively and caters for good wholesome pub food and of course more exotic cuisine. Clubs and nightspots often feature live bands and dance music with state of the art technology. Scotland's native music can be enjoyed in the ceilidh scene.
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