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For other uses, see Glasgow (disambiguation).
"Glaswegian" redirects here. For the linguistics article, see Glasgow patter.

Glasgow (Glaschu in Gaelic; Glesca or Glasgae in colloquial Scots) is Scotland's largest city and unitary authority area, situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands. People from Glasgow are called Glaswegians. Glaswegian is also the name of the local dialect of Scots, commonly known as the Glasgow Patter.

The city was formerly a royal burgh, and the "Second City of the British Empire" in the Victorian era, it established itself as a major transatlantic trading port. The Clyde was the World's pre-eminent shipbuilding centre, building many revolutionary and famous vessels such as the Cunard liners Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and the QE2, and the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The city grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to a population of over one million people, peaking at 1,088,000 people in 1931, however with population decline mainly due to the large scale relocation of people to new towns like East Kilbride and Cumbernauld on the outskirts of the city, and successive boundary changes, the current population of Glasgow is 629,501, based on the 2001 census. Approximately 1.58 million people live in the Greater Glasgow conurbation, a 15 mile (24 km) radius from the city centre, defined as the City of Glasgow and the Greater Metropolitan Area. The surrounding region of Strathclyde has a population of over 2.6 million, over half of the whole Scottish population.

Known as the commercial capital of Scotland, the City of Glasgow is a bustling, cosmopolitan city. Glasgow is the second most popular foreign tourist destination in Scotland after Edinburgh. The city also has Scotland's largest and most economically important commerce and retail centre. Glasgow is one of Europe's top 20 financial centres and is home to many of Scotland's leading businesses, forming an important part of the British economy.


The city's name

It is common to derive the name Glasgow from the older Brythonic glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green hollow. The settlement probably had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures; the modern name appears for the first time in the Gaelic period (1116), as Glasgu. However, it is also recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern, and procured his consecration as bishop, which took place about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn, and making many converts by his Christian example and his preaching. A large community developed around him and became known as Glasgu (meaning the dear family). The confusion between the terms is not wholly resolved (Dear Family vs. Dear Green Place vs. Green Hollow).

Dear Green Place (Glaschu) is often misquoted as a Gaelic translation for the city, but this was actually Daniel Defoe's description of the city when he visited in the early 18th century; he also claimed that Glasgow was "the paradise of Scotland and one of the cleanliest and best built cities in Britain." Another writer of the time said of the River Clyde: "I have never seen before any river which for natural beauty can stand competition with the Clyde. Never did a stream glide more gracefully to the ocean or through a fairer region." At that time, the city's population numbered approximately 12,000, and its structures largely consisted of compact wooden buildings, none of which remain today.

Coat of arms

Image:Glasgow city council logo.jpg

The coat of arms commemorates Glasgow's patron saint, Kentigern, more often known as Saint Mungo, and includes four emblems — a bird, a tree, a bell, and a fish, specifically a salmon with a ring in its mouth. The emblems represent miracles supposed to have been performed by Mungo and are listed in the following traditional rhyme:

Here's the bird that never flew
Here's the tree that never grew
Here's the bell that never rang
Here's the fish that never swam

The supporters are two salmon bearing rings, and the shield bearing the four motifs is surmounted by a castle (or sometimes a helm) above which is St Mungo himself.

The motto of the city, taken from a sermon preached by Mungo, is Let Glasgow Flourish, a shortened version of Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy name. The motto was more recently commemorated in a song called "Mother Glasgow" popularised by Hue and Cry, a musical group from the nearby town of Coatbridge.

Geography and climate

See also: Geography of Glasgow

Glasgow is located on the banks of the River Clyde, in West Central Scotland.


Glasgow weather is typical of Scottish weather and often unpredictable.

The summer months (May to September) are often sunny and mild. The winds are generally westerly, due to the warm Gulf Stream. The warmest month is usually July, averaging 19°C (66.2°F). However, temperature can change suddenly, and is normally a few degrees colder than southern England. Mornings may be damp and misty, or dreich (a Scottish word for damp and drizzly), but become sunny and warm by afternoon.

Though there are some rainy and windy days, spring (March to May) is fairly mild and is a popular time to visit Glasgow. Many of Glasgow's trees begin to flower at this time of the year and the parks and gardens are filled with spring colour.

Winters are long and damp with few sunny days, however the Gulf Stream ensures that Glasgow stays warmer than other cities at the same latitude. Winds can be chilling and cold, though severe snow falls are infrequent and do not last. December, January and February are the wettest months of the year, but can occasionally be sunny and warm.


Month Max (°C) Min (°C) Mean (°C)
January 6 1 4
February 7 1 4
March 8 2 6
April 11 4 7
May 14 6 11
June 17 9 13
July 19 11 13
August 18 11 14
September 16 9 12
October 12 7 9
November 9 4 6
December 7 2 4

Source: <ref>Glasgow Weather</ref>


Glasgow's population peaked in the 1930s with a population of 1,088,000 people, and for over 50 years was over 1 million people. However, after the peak of the 1930s, the population started to decline, partly due to relocation to the 'new towns' in clearings of the poverty-stricken inner city areas like the Gorbals. In addition, successive boundary changes reduced the official city boundaries (and hence official populations) making direct comparisions difficult as the city expands beyond the local council boundaries.

See also: Historical Population Data

Due to council boundary changes since the last census in 1991, Greater Glasgow has four distinct definitions for the population of Glasgow in the 2001 census: the smallest is the new Glasgow City Council Area (which lost the district of Rutherglen to South Lanarkshire, the slightly larger City of Glasgow Locality Area (formerly Glasgow District Council Area), the Greater Glasgow Health Board area (covered by the local NHS Trust), and the Greater Glasgow Metropolitan Settlement Area (including surrounding localities).

Location Population Area
Glasgow City Council<ref>The official population of Glasgow City Council unitary authority.</ref> 577,869 175.49 3293 67.75 8,528
City of Glasgow Locality<ref>2001 Census, Localities are sub-divisions of 2001 Settlements that are based on 1991 Locality boundaries.</ref> 629,501 162.10 3883 62.58 10,058
Greater Glasgow Health Board 867,150 555.27 1562 214.38 4,044
Greater Glasgow Settlement Area<ref>The Greater Glasgow Settlement Area or Metropolitian Area was created from groups of neighbouring urban postcodes grouped so that each group of postcode unit contains at least a given number of addresses per hectare and the group contains at least 500 residents.</ref> 1,168,270 368.46 3171 142.26 8,212

Source <ref>2001 Census </ref>

Since the 2001 census, the population decline has stalled and it is currently forecast to remain the same (the current population forecast for 2004 the City of Glasgow area is 577,680) <ref>Census Excel file</ref>.

Compared to Inner London (22,438 people per sq mile), Glasgow has less than half the current population density of the English capital (8,528), however in 1931, the density was 16,011 highlighting the 'clearances' of the inner city to the suburbs and new towns <ref>Glasgow: Population & Density 1891-2001</ref>.


See also: History of Glasgow


The area of Glasgow has long been used for settlement due to the River Clyde providing a natural area for fishing. The Romans later settled in the area, however Glasgow proper was not founded until the 6th century by Saint Mungo when he established a church and ecclesiastical community in and around what is now Glasgow Cathedral.

Glasgow grew over the following centuries, being granted the status of a city, with its cathedral and the founding of the University of Glasgow providing religious and educational status. It was not until the 16th century that Glasgow became prominent in world affairs. The city became a hub of trade to the Americas, especially in the movement of tobacco, cotton and sugar. The industries of Scotland produced textiles, coal and steel, which were exported. Shipbuilding became a major industry on the Clyde, building many famous ships. By the end of the 19th century the city was known as the "Second City of the Empire" and was producing most of the ships and locomotives in the world. During this period, the construction of many of the city's greatest architectural masterpieces and most ambitious civic projects were being funded by its wealth.

The 20th century showed a great decline in the city's fortunes, especially with the effects of two World Wars and the Great Depression. The city's industries became uncompetitive, leading to high unemployment, urban decay and poor health for the city's inhabitants.

However, by the end of the century there had been a significant resurgence in Glasgow's economic fortunes, with financial companies moving to the city, as well an increase in tourism. The latter due to the legacy of the city's status as European City of Culture in 1990, and the product of its thriving artistic community. The regeneration of inner-city areas has led to people moving back to living in the centre of Glasgow, although some areas of the city remain amongst the most deprived in the UK.

Main districts

Glasgow was historically based around Glasgow Cathedral, the old High Street and down to the River Clyde via Glasgow Cross.

City Centre

The City Centre is bounded by the High Street to the East, the River Clyde to the South and the M8 motorway to the West and North which cut a swathe through the Charing Cross and Anderston areas in the 1960s.

Image:Wfm buchanan street.jpg

Shopping and theatre district

The City Centre is based on a grid system of streets on the north bank of the River Clyde. The heart of the city is George Square, site of many of Glasgow's public statues and the Glasgow City Chambers, headquarters of Glasgow City Council. To the south and west are the shopping precincts of Argyle, Sauchiehall and Buchanan Streets. The main shopping malls are Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Centre, as well as the more specialised, designer malls; Princes Square and the Italian Centre. The London-based department stores, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols are planning to open in the city, further strengthening Glasgow's already impressive retail portfolio, which forms the UK's largest and most economically important commerce and retail sector after London's West End. The layout of the shopping district of Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street has been termed the "Golden Z" and in October 2005 retail locations in the area were sought after to the extent that Buchanan Street was reported to have the 7th highest shop rental fees in the world <ref>Retail capital Buchanan St is world No.7 for shopping</ref>.

The city centre is home to Glasgow's main cultural venues: The Theatre Royal (home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet), The Pavilion, The King's Theatre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Film Theatre, RSAMD, GoMA, Mitchell Library, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, and The Lighthouse Museum of Architecture, Design and the City. The city centre is also home to two of Glasgow's three universities: Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian University.

It also boasts the World's tallest cinema, the 18 screen Cineworld (formerly the UGC Cinema) in Renfrew Street.

Merchant City

To the east is the commercial and residential district of Merchant City, which was formerly the residential district of the wealthy City Merchants in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Latterly, due to growing industrial pollution levels, the area fell out of favour with residents, who mostly moved to the newly developed West End and Southside districts.

However, from the late 1980s onwards, the area has been rejuvenated with luxury city centre apartments and warehouse conversions. Many new cafes and restaurants have opened. The area also contains the old Tolbooth, The Tron Theatre, The Trades Hall, and the City Halls.

The area is also home to Glasgow's growing 'Arts Quarter', based around the Saltmarket and Trongate, and at the heart of the annual Merchant City Festival.

A significant part of Glasgow's 'Gay Quarter' is situated in the Merchant City, predominantly around Virginia Street, and the northern end of Glassford Street, and also hosts events for Glasgow's annual Glasgay! Festival, in November.

Recently the city council defined (and perhaps expanded) the area known as Merchant City as far West as Buchanan Street, marking these boundaries with new, highly stylised metal signage.

Old Glasgow

As the Industrial Revolution and the wealth it brought to the city resulted in the expansion of Glasgow's central area westward, the original medieval centre was left behind. This area, commonly known as "Old Glasgow" takes in the eastern fringes of the Merchant City and some of the East End. Glasgow Cross, situated at the junction of High Street, Gallowgate, Trongate and Saltmarket was the original centre of the city. In the Cross sits the Tolbooth clock tower; all that remains of the original City Chambers, which was destroyed by fire in 1926. Moving northward up High Street towards Rottenrow and Townhead lies the 15th Century Glasgow Cathedral and the Provand's Lordship.

Financial District

To the western edge of the city centre, occupying the areas of Blythswood Hill and Anderston, and along the Broomielaw, lies Glasgow's financial district, known as the "square kilometre" or more officially the International Financial Services District (IFSD). With a reputation as an established financial services centre, coupled with comprehensive support services, Glasgow continues to attract and grow new business. Of the 10 largest general insurance companies in the UK, 8 have a base in Glasgow - including Direct Line, AXA and Norwich Union. Key banking sector companies have also relocated to commercial property in Glasgow - Abbey, HBOS, National Australia Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Since the late 1980s, this area of the city centre has seen the construction of many ultra-modern office blocks, a trend which continues into the 21st Century, with a new wave of high rise developments currently on the drawing board.

The West End

Image:Wfm kelvingrove museum back.jpg Glasgow's West End refers to the bohemian district of cafés, bars, boutique hotels, clubs and restaurants in the hinterland of Kelvingrove Park, the University of Glasgow, BBC Scotland's Headquarters, Glasgow Botanic Gardens and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. The district includes the upmarket residental areas of Hillhead, Kelvingrove, Partick (originally a relatively working class area), Kelvinside and Hyndland. However the name is now being used to mean anywhere to the west of Charing Cross. This includes areas like Kelvindale and Jordanhill. The spire of Sir George Gilbert Scott's Glasgow University main building (the second largest Gothic Revival building in Britain) is a major local landmark, and can be seen for miles around, sitting atop Gilmorehill. The University itself is the fourth oldest in the United Kingdom, after Oxford, Cambridge and St. Andrews. Much of the city's student population is based in the West End, adding to its cultural vibrancy and unique identity.

The area is also home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Hunterian Museum, Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena, Henry Wood Hall (home of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra) and the Museum of Transport, which is to be rebuilt on an old dockland site at Glasgow Harbour to a design by Zaha Hadid. The West End Festival, one of Glasgow's biggest festivals, is held annually in June.

Glasgow is Europe's fastest growing conference and events destination, and the SECC is the UK's largest exhibition and conference centre. A major expansion of the SECC facilities at the former Queens Dock by Foster and Partners is currently planned, including a 12,000 seat arena, and a 5 star hotel and entertainments complex.

The area is well served by bus, rail and the Glasgow Subway, which is the easiest way of travelling to the City Centre and the Southside.

The East End

Image:Wfm peoples palace back.jpg

The East End is home to the famous Glasgow Barrowland market, popularly known as 'The Barras', and Barrowland Ballroom music hall, Glasgow Green, and Celtic Park, home of Celtic Football Club . Many of the original sandstone tenements remain in this district. The East End includes some of the most deprived areas in the UK.

The Glasgow Necropolis cemetery was created on a hill above the cathedral of St Mungo in 1831 and is Glasgow's equivalent of Paris's Père Lachaise. Routes curve through the landscape uphill to the 62 metre high statue of John Knox at the summit, with some tombs designed by prominent local architect Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. The design creates a dramatic skyline of obelisks, pinnacles and statues in memory of Glasgow's wealthiest inhabitants. It was described by James Curle as 'literally a city of the dead'. The main entrance is approached by a bridge over what was the Molendinar Burn towards an impressive set of classical mausolea. The bridge, designed by James Hamilton, is known as the Bridge of Sighs because it formed the route of funeral processions.

There are two late 18th century tenements in Gallowgate. Dating from 1771 and 1780, both have been well restored. The construction of Charlotte Street was financed by David Dale, whose former pretensions can be guaged by the one remaining house, now run by the National Trust for Scotland. Further along Charlotte Street there stands a modern Coia building of some note. Once a school, it has been converted into flats. Surrounding these buildings are a series of innovative housing developements conceived as 'Homes for the Future', part of a project during the city's year as UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.

East of Glasgow Cross is the magnificent St Andrews Church, built in 1746 and displaying a presbyterian grandeur befitting the church of the city's wealthy Tobacco merchants. Also close by is the more modest Episcopalian St Andrews-by-the-Green, the oldest post-Reformation church in Scotland.

Overlooking Glasgow Green is the façade of Templeton's carpet factory, featuring vibrant polychromatic brickwork intended to evoke the Doge's Palace in Venice.

The extensive Tollcross Park was originally developed from the estate of James Dunlop, the owner of a local Steelworks. His large baronial mansion was built in 1848 by David Bryce, which later housed the city's Children's Museum until the 1980s. This is sited within the Forge Shopping Centre at Parkhead. Today, the mansion is a sheltered housing complex.

The new Scottish National Indoor Sports Arena, a modern replacement for the Kelvin Hall, is planned for Dalmarnock. If the 2014 Commonwealth Games bid is successful, the area will house the Athletes' Village, adjacent to the new indoor sports arena.

To the north of the East End lie the two massive gasometers of Provan Gas Works, which stand overlooking Alexandra Park and a major interchange between the M8 and M80 motorways. Often used for displaying large city advertising slogans, the towers have become an unofficial portal into the city for road users arriving from the North and East.

The Southside

Image:Wfm burrell collection.jpg

Glasgow's Southside, sprawls out south of the Clyde, covering areas including The Gorbals, Shawlands, Pollokshaws, Nitshill, Pollokshields, and Queens Park.

Although predominantly residential, the area does have several notable public buildings. Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Scotland Street School Museum, the world famous Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park, the National Football Stadium Hampden Park in Mount Florida and Ibrox Stadium, home of Rangers. The former docklands site at Pacific Quay on the south bank of the River Clyde, opposite the SECC, is home to the Glasgow Science Centre and the new Headquarters for BBC Scotland, and SMG which are relocating there to a new purpose built digital media campus.

In addition, several new bridges spanning the River Clyde are currently planned or under construction, including The Finnieston Bridge and 'Neptune's Way' in Tradeston.

The Southside also includes many great parks, including Linn Park, Queens Park and Bellahouston Park, and several golf clubs, including the championship course at Haggs Castle.

The Burgh of Govan

Image:Govantownhall.jpgGovan is a district and former burgh in the southwestern part of the city. It is situated on the south bank of the River Clyde, opposite Partick. It was an administratively independent Police Burgh from 1864 until it was incorporated into the expanding city of Glasgow in 1912.

Govan has a great legacy as an engineering and shipbuilding centre of international repute and is home to one of two BAE Systems shipyards on the River Clyde and the precision engineering firm, Thales Optronics. It is also home to the Southern General Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country, and the maintenance depot for the Glasgow Subway system.

North Glasgow

North Glasgow, extends out from the north of the City Centre towards the affluent suburbs of East Dunbartonshire. It contains some of the city's poorest residential areas. Possilpark is one such area, where levels of unemployment and drug abuse continue to be above the national average. Much of the housing in areas such as Possilpark and Hamiltonhill had fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years. This has led to large scale redevelopment of much of the poorer housing stock in North Glasgow. This has also led to the wider regeneration of many areas, such as Ruchill, which have been transformed, with many of its run-down tenements now refurbished or replaced by modern Housing estates.

Much of the housing stock in North Glasgow is socially rented accommodation, managed by the Glasgow Housing Association. In parts of the North of the city, such as Springburn, there are many high-rise tower blocks. These buildings were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s and were viewed as the answer to Glasgow’s inner-city slum problems, but are now widely discredited as being poorly built and unsuited to traditional urban living, and are held responsible by many for the social alienation that exists in the poorest parts of the city today.

Not all areas of North Glasgow are of this nature however. Maryhill for example consists of well maintained traditional sandstone tenements. Although historically a working class area, as it borders the upmarket West End of the city, it is relatively wealthy compared to the rest of the North of the city, containing affluent areas such as Maryhill Park and North Kelvinside. Maryhill is also home to Firhill Stadium, home of Partick Thistle since 1909, and since 2005, the professional Rugby Union team, Glasgow Warriors. The junior team, Maryhill F.C. are also located in this part of North Glasgow.

The Forth and Clyde Canal flows through this part of the city, at one stage forming a vital part of the local economy. It was for many years polluted and largely unused after the decline of heavy industry, but recent efforts to regenerate and re-open the canal to navigation have seen it rejuvenated, although it currently remains underutilised by the public.

Sighthill is home to Scotland’s largest asylum seeker community. This large resettlement of people had brought about some tensions in the area, with incidents of racist violence initially reported. More recently however, there has been widespread praise about how this diverse new community has been able to successfully integrate with the existing native communities.

A huge part of the economic life of Glasgow was once located in Springburn, where the engineering works and locomotive workshops employed many Glaswegians. Indeed, Glasgow dominated the manufacturing of locomotives, with 25% of all the world’s trains being built in the area at one stage. It was home to the headquarters of the North British Locomotive Company.


Image:Teppichfabrik.jpg Unlike Edinburgh, very little of medieval Glasgow remains, the two main landmarks from this period being the 14th century Provand's Lordship and Glasgow Cathedral. The vast majority of the city as seen today dates from the 19th century. As a result, Glasgow has an impressive heritage of Victorian architecture, the Glasgow City Chambers, the main building of the University of Glasgow, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and the Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, being outstanding examples. Another architect who had a great and enduring impact on the city's appearance was Alexander Thomson, who produced a distinctive architecture based on fundamentalist classicism that gave him the nickname "Greek". He was described as a "quiet, stay-at-home Victorian behind whose buttoned-up facade there seethed a kind of stylistic corsair who plundered the past for the greater glory of the present".

The buildings reflect the wealth and self confidence of the residents of the "Second City of the Empire". Glasgow generated immense wealth from trade and the industries that developed from the Industrial Revolution. The shipyards, marine engineering, steel making, and heavy industry all contributed to the growth of the city. At one time the expression "Clydebuilt" was synonymous with quality and engineering excellence. The Templeton's Carpet Factory on Glasgow Green was designed to resemble the Doge's Palace in Venice. The allusions another great trading city, seem appropriate.

Image:Wfm glasgow school of art.jpg Many of the city's most impressive buildings were built with red or blond sandstone, but during the industrial era those colours disappeared under a pervasive black layer of soot and pollutants from the furnaces.

Tenements were built to house the workers who had migrated from Ireland and the Scottish Highlands in order to feed the local demand for labour; these tenements were often overcrowded and insanitary, and many developed into the infamous Glasgow slums, the Gorbals area being one of the most notorious.

Image:Glasgow science centre.jpg In recent years many of these buildings have been cleaned and restored to their original appearance. Others were demolished to make way for large, barrack-like housing estates, and high-rise flats in tower blocks. The latter were built in large numbers during the 1960s and early 1970s; and indeed, Glasgow has a higher concentration of high-rise buildings than any other city in the British Isles. At 31 storeys, the Red Road flats in the north of the city were for many years the highest residential buildings in Europe. These housing estates, known as "schemes", are widely regarded as unsuccessful: many, such as Castlemilk, were heartless dormitories well away from the centre of the city with no amenities ("deserts wi' windies" [deserts with windows], as Billy Connolly put it), and their establishment led to the split up of long established community relationships. Some of the high-rise developments were poorly designed and cheaply built and became magnets for crime. Over time some have become as bad as the slum areas that they replaced, though at the time of construction they were largely welcomed. On 7 March 2003 the Glasgow Housing Association took ownership of the housing stock from the city council, and has begun a programme of demolishing or redeveloping the worst of the high-rises.

Modern buildings in Glasgow include the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and along the banks of the Clyde are the Glasgow Science Centre and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, whose Clyde Auditorium was designed by Sir Norman Foster, and is affectionately known as the "Armadillo". Zaha Hadid has won a competition to design the new Museum of Transport, which will move to the waterfront. Shopping centres include the Buchanan Galleries, the glass pyramid of the St Enoch Centre, and the upmarket Princes Square.

Given the history of high rises in Glasgow, the council's policy of allowing new tall buildings has attracted some controversy. The 39-storey Elphinstone Place mixed-use skyscraper in Charing Cross, will be the tallest building in Scotland, and is scheduled to begin construction in mid 2006 <ref>Elphinstone Place: Glasgow - Tallest Building in Scotland </ref>. Much development is taking place along the banks of the Clyde. Glasgow Harbour, which neighbours Partick is one of the largest residential developments. The second phase was unfavourably compared to the Red Road flats <ref>Tower blocks plan 'too like city in 1960s' </ref>, but was granted planning permission.


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The city has many amenities for a wide range of cultural activities, from curling to opera and from football to art appreciation; it also has a large selection of museums that include those devoted to transport, religion, and modern art. The city even has the largest public reference library in Europe in the form of the Mitchell Library.

Theatres, museums and galleries

Glasgow is home to a variety of theatres including The Kings Theatre, Theatre Royal and the Citizens Theatre and is home to many municipal museums and art galleries, the most famous being the Burrell Collection, GoMA and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Festivals and exhibitions


The city has hosted many exhibtions over the years, including being the European Capital of Culture 1990, National City of Sport 1995-1999 and European Capital of Sport 2003.

In addition, unlike the Edinburgh Festival (where all Edinburgh's main festivals occur in the last three weeks of August), Glasgow's festivals virtually fill the entire calendar, from January through to December. Major festivals include the Glasgow Comedy Festival, Glasgow Jazz Festival, Celtic Connections, Glasgow Film Festival, West End Festival, Merchant City Festival, Glasgay, and the World Pipe Band Championships.

Music scene

Glasgow has one of the most exciting music scenes throughout the whole of Europe, with a plethora of live music pubs, clubs and venues.

Some favourite venues are the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and King Tut's Wah Wah Hut where Oasis were spotted and signed by Glaswegian record mogul Alan McGee. Another favourite is The Barrowlands, a historic ballroom, converted into a mecca of live music.

Famous exports include:


Template:Seealso Image:Hampdenpark.jpg Image:IbroxStadium2.jpg Image:Celticparkglasgow.jpg Image:Firhill1.jpg

Glasgow has a long sporting history, with the world's first international football match held in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club's Hamilton Crescent ground in the Partick area of Glasgow. The match was between Scotland and England and resulted in a 0–0 draw. It is the only city to have had two football teams competing in European finals in the same season: in 1967 Celtic were in the European Cup final while at the same time Rangers were in the Cup Winners' Cup final.


The city is home to Scotland's largest football stadia: Celtic Park (60,832 seats), Ibrox Stadium (50,411 seats) and Hampden Park (52,670 seats), which is Scotland's national football stadium. Glasgow has three (50,000+ capacity) football stadia which have UEFA's 5-star rating [[1]] (Hampden Park, Ibrox Stadium and Celtic Park).

Glasgow has three professional football clubs: Celtic and Rangers, which together make the Old Firm, and Partick Thistle. A fourth club, Queen's Park, is an amateur club that plays in the Scottish professional league system. It had two other professional clubs in the late 20th century: Clyde, which moved to Cumbernauld, and Third Lanark, which went bankrupt. There are a number of Scottish Junior Football Association clubs within the city as well, such as Pollok, Maryhill and Petershill, as well as countless numbers of amateur teams.

The history of football in the city, as well as the status of the Old Firm, attracts many visitors to football matches in the city throughout the season. It is the only city in the United Kingdom that has three UEFA Five Star standard stadia (Hampden, Ibrox and Parkhead), meaning that they are capable of hosting the final of the Champions League. Hampden has hosted the final on three ocassions, most recently in 2002. The Scottish Football Association, the national governing body, and the Scottish Football Museum are based in Glasgow, as are the Scottish Football League, Scottish Premier League, Scottish Junior Football Association and Scottish Amateur Football Association.

Club Sport League Venue Logo
Celtic Association Football Scottish Premier League Celtic Park Image:Celtic FC logo.png
Rangers Association Football Scottish Premier League Ibrox Stadium Image:Rangers.png
Partick Thistle Association Football Scottish Football League Firhill Image:Partick-logo.jpg
Queen's Park Association Football Scottish Football League Hampden Park Image:QPFC-Logo.jpg


Glasgow also boasts a professional rugby team, the Glasgow Warriors, which plays in the Celtic League alongside teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

In the Scottish Club leagues, Glasgow Hawks was formed in 1997 by the merger of two of Glasgow's oldest clubs: Glasgow Accademicals and Glasgow High Kelvinside (GHK). Despite the merger, the second division teams of Glasgow Accademicals and Glasgow High Kelvinside re-entered the Scottish Rugby League in 1998.

Club Sport League Venue
Glasgow Warriors Rugby Union Celtic League Firhill
Glasgow Hawks Scottish Rugby Union BT Premier League Old Anniesland
GHA Scottish Rugby Union BT Premier League Braidholm
Glasgow Academicals Scottish Rugby Union BT National League New Anniesland
Glasgow High Kelvinside (GHK) Scottish Rugby Union BT National League Old Anniesland


Major international sporting arenas include the Kelvin Hall and Scotstoun Sports Centre. In 2003 the National Academy for Badminton was completed in Scotstoun. In 2003 Glasgow was also given the title of European Capital of Sport.

Smaller sporting facilities include an abundance of outdoor playing fields, as well as golf clubs such as Haggs Castle and artificial ski slopes. Between 1998 and 2004, the Scottish Claymores American football team played some or all of their home games each season at Hampden and the venue also hosted World Bowl XI.

Befitting its strong Highland connections as the City of the Gael Baile Mòr nan Gàidheal, Glasgow is also one of five places in Scotland which hosts the final of the Scottish Cup of Shinty, better known as the Camanachd Cup. This is usually held at Old Anniesland. Once home to numerous Shinty clubs, there is now only one senior club in Glasgow, Glasgow Mid-Argyll, as well as two university sides, Strathclyde University and Glasgow University.

2014 Commonwealth Games bid

Glasgow is currently bidding for the Commonwealth Games in 2014, to be based around a number of exising and new-built sporting venues across the city, including; a revamped Hampden Park with a Commonwealth Games village planned for the East End. This will be Glasgow's first bid for the Games, and would be Scotland's third Games. The previous two were held in Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986. <ref>Glasgow 2014, Commonwealth Games Candidate</ref>

Although London has just won the 2012 Olympic Games, because the Home Countries are classed as separate nations within the Commonwealth, this should not adversely affect Glasgow's bid.


Image:Glasgow Cathedral.jpg

The city is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic community with diverse religions. The Central Mosque in the Gorbals district is the largest mosque in Scotland.


The city has four cathedrals:

Other prominent churches and religious buildings

Glasgow also has the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art which is the only religious multi-faith museum in the world.

In addition, a new Sikh Temple is planned for Glasgow's Charing Cross District, due to open in 2007.

Religious rivalry

See also: Religious rivalry in Glasgow

Some sectarian rivalry still exists among certain elements of the population. Nowadays this is largely limited to the sporting rivalry between the supporters of Celtic and Rangers. The majority of Rangers supporters are nominally Protestant, while the majority of Celtic supporters are nominally Catholic.


Image:Glasgow City Chambers Council Chamber.jpg See Also: Politics of the City of Glasgow

Glasgow has a long history of supporting socialist ideas and politics. The city council has been controlled by the Labour Party for 30 years. Its socialist roots emanate from the city's days as an industrial powerhouse, and endure through the previously mentioned levels of relative poverty amongst many Glaswegians. In the aftermath of World War I the city's strikes and revolutionary fervour caused serious alarm at Westminster, with one uprising in January 1919 prompting the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George to deploy 10,000 troops and tanks onto the city's streets. A huge demonstration in the city's George Square on January 31st ended in violence after the Riot Act was read.

Later, industrial action at the shipyards gave rise to the "Red Clydeside" tag. During the 1930s, Glasgow was the main base of the Independent Labour Party. Towards the end of the 20th century it became a centre of the struggle against the poll tax, and then the main base of the Scottish Socialist Party, a left wing party in Scotland.

Scottish Parliament constituencies

See also: Glasgow (Scottish Parliament electoral region).

The Glasgow electoral region of the Scottish Parliament covers the City of Glasgow and the Rutherglen area of South Lanarkshire. It elects ten of the parliament's 73 first past the post constituency members and seven of the 56 additional members. Both kinds of member are known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The system of election is designed to produce a form of proportional representation.

The first past the post seats were the same for the Scottish Parliament. In 2005 the number of Westminster Members of Parliament (MPs) was cut to 59, with new constituencies being formed, while the existing number of MSPs was retained at Holyrood.

The ten Scottish Parliament constituencies in the Glasgow electoral region are:-

United Kingdom Parliament constituencies

See also: United Kingdom constituencies.

Following reform of constituencies of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament (Westminster) in 2005, which reduced the number of Scottish Members of Parliament (MPs), the current Westminster constituencies representing Glasgow are:-


See also: Glasgow Patter

Glaswegian, otherwise known as The Glasgow Patter is a local, anglicised variety of Scots.

Glaswegian is a rich and vital living dialect which gives a true reflection of the city with all its virtues and vices. It is more than an alternative pronunciation; words also change their meaning, e.g. "away" can mean "leaving" as in A'm awa, an instruction to stop being a nuisance as in awa wi ye, or "drunk" or "demented" as in he's awa wi it. Cannae means "can't". Pieces refers to "sandwiches". Ginger is a generic term for carbonated soft drink, generally in a glass bottle (A boatal a' ginger). Then there are words whose meaning has no obvious relationship to that in standard English: coupon means "face", via "to punch a ticket coupon".

A speaker of Glaswegian might refer to those originating from the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles as teuchters, while they would reciprocate by referring to Glaswegians as the keelies or weegies. A (rather old-fashioned) Glaswegian insult is hieland, which means "awkward" and is Scots for "Highland". Example: that wean's got an awful hieland wey o haudin that knife meaning "that child has a very awkward way of holding that knife".

The TV series Chewin' the Fat and Rab C. Nesbitt capture the humour of the Glaswegian patois and sensibilities while Billy Connolly has done a lot to make Glaswegian humour known to the rest of the world.


Image:University of Glasgow at night.jpg


Glasgow is also a major education centre with four universities within 10 miles (16 km) of the city centre: the 15th-century University of Glasgow (which has one of the highest ratios of students who continue living at home), the University of Strathclyde, the Glasgow Caledonian University, and the University of Paisley; as well as teacher training colleges, teaching hospitals, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow School of Art, and 10 other further education colleges.

Glasgow is home to a student population in excess of 168,000, largest in Scotland, the majority of them living in the west-end of the city, near the University of Glasgow's main campus on Gilmorehill.


Glasgow is the largest economy in Scotland and is at the hub of the metropolitan area of West Central Scotland which has a total population of over 2.6 million. The city itself sustains more than 410,000 jobs in over 12,000 companies. Over 53,000 jobs have been created in the city since 1995 - a growth rate of 16%. <ref>Jobs boom on Clyde reverses decline Guardian Online </ref> The city now outstrips most of its European counterparts and rivals most North American cities in terms of growth. 25% of the residents in the Greater Glasgow area commute to the city every day. Manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding and heavy engineering have been gradually replaced by a modern mixed economy, supported by public and private investment and a skilled workforce.

Glasgow's economy is now dominated by key tertiary sector industries such as financial and business services, communications, biosciences, creative industries, healthcare, retail and tourism. Between 1998 to 2001, the city's burgeoning financial services sector grew at a rate of 30%.

Image:HMSDaring.JPG The city retains a strong link to the manufacturing sector which forms the fourth largest manufacturing centre in the UK, accounting for well over 60% of Scotland's manufactured exports, with particular strengths in shipbuilding, engineering, food and drink, printing, publishing, chemicals and textiles as well as new growth sectors such as optoelectronics, software development and biotechnology. Glasgow forms the western part of the Silicon Glen high tech sector of Scotland. A growing number of Blue Chip financial companies are basing major operations or headquarters in Glasgow, including; Abbey, National Australia Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS, AXA, Norwich Union, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Barclays Bank and Lloyds TSB. These names rub shoulders with other well established firms operating in the city, which represent other sectors of Glasgow's economy, including; Diageo, William Grant & Sons, Pernod Ricard, AG Barr, Tennent Caledonian Breweries, Whyte & Mackay <ref>Whyte & Mackay </ref>, House of Fraser, Hilton Group, Jacobs & Turner <ref>Jacobs & Turner </ref>, MacFarlane Group <ref>MacFarlane Group </ref>, HarperCollins, John Menzies, BAE Systems, Thales, Alstom, Linn, Rolls-Royce Aero Engines, Albion Automotive, British Energy, Scottish Power, Thus, BT, Centrica, Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, Caledonian MacBrayne, Stagecoach Group, First Group, Loganair, Flyglobespan, Zoom Airlines, Air Scotland, BAA, Imperial Chemical Industries, Armitage Shanks,Jacobs Engineering Group, Norit, Weir Group, Arup, AMEC, and Aggreko Engineering <ref>Aggreko Engineering </ref>. Glasgow-based Scottish Power is one of three Scottish companies to be included on the Fortune Global 500 rankings.

Over the last two decades Glasgow has radically improved to become an attractive city in which to live and work. Major corporate developments have helped promote its reputation as a leading centre for business and commerce. <ref>Glasgow - Scottish Enterprise</ref>

Glasgow is the second most popular foreign tourist destination in Scotland after Edinburgh, the capital. The city also has the UK's second largest and most economically important commerce and retail centre. Glasgow is one of Europe's top 20 financial centres and is home to many of Scotland's leading businesses, forming an important part of the British economy.


See also: Media in Glasgow

The city is home to large sections of the Scottish national media. It is home to the headquarters of BBC Scotland as well as Scottish Television. The Scottish press publishes various newspapers in the city such as the Evening Times and The Herald. Scottish editions of Trinity Mirror and News International titles are also printed in the city. SMG plc is a Glasgow-based media conglomerate with interests in Television, Radio, Cinema, Advertising and Publishing. ITV plc is believed to own a significant stake in SMG. Amongst others, SMG owns and operates Scottish TV, Grampian TV, Virgin Radio, Pearl & Dean, and Primesight - who sell outdoor advertising sites such as billboards.

Various radio stations are also located in Glasgow. Scottish Radio Holdings dominates commercial radio in Glasgow with 9 digital radio stations including: Clyde One and Clyde Two (which reach over 1.1 million listeners), WestSound Radio, and Real Radio amongst others. In 2004, SMG plc sold its 27.8% stake in Scottish Radio Holdings to the broadcasting group EMAP for £90.5m.


Image:GlasgowCentral.jpg See also: Transport in Glasgow

Public Transport

Glasgow has a large urban transportation system, mostly managed by Strathclyde Passenger Transport, the only Passenger Transport Executive in Scotland. SPT, is formed and financed out of the twelve unitary authorities in the Greater Glasgow area including Glasgow City Council. It has responsibility for local train services, the subway, certain ferries and buses.

The city has many bus services, almost all provided by private operators since bus deregulation in 1986, however SPT fund services where there is public need but no service. SPT also own and run the principal bus station in Glasgow, Buchanan Bus Station, which is a terminus point for many long distance intercity coach services as well as local journeys. A number of controversial 'bus corridors' have been invested in by Glasgow City Council focusing on main bus routes with real time information, and bus priority measures at a significant cost. The Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive (GGPTE), formerly the municipal transport operator, is as a result of bus deregulation now privately owned by First Group, who operate a vast bus network in Glasgow including its twelve core 24 hour 365 days a year services. Other large operators in Glasgow are Arriva and Stagecoach with a number of smaller operators catering to individual districts including First Stop Travel and many others.


Glasgow has the largest urban rail network in the UK outside of London, with rail services travelling to a large part of the West of Scotland. All trains running within Scotland are operated by First ScotRail, who own the franchise as determined by the Scottish Executive. This company is part of the First Group that runs the majority of bus services in the country. There are two main railway terminals which provide train services throughout the United Kingdom: Central Station and Queen Street Station. Local trains within Glasgow are however run by First Scotrail to the specification and requirements of SPT, who provide rolling stock in the distincive SPT livery of Carmine and Cream. As well as the passenger trains SPT also run UK's only dedicated underground metro system outside of London, the Glasgow Subway (affectionately known as the 'Clockwork Orange' due to its single, circular line and the once garish orange livery of the trains). The Subway is best for travelling to the Southside and West End, with its University, museums and galleries. A single ticket is £1, and a return £2, however after 0930 a day ticket can be purchased for £1.90.

Glasgow was also the last place in the British Isles outside Blackpool to operate a street tramway network.

River Transport

A number of ferries used to link opposite sides of the Clyde in Glasgow. However these have steadily disappeared, mainly due to the construction of new bridges and tunnels including the Erskine Bridge, Kingston Bridge, and the Clyde Tunnel, which rendered them obsolete. The only remaining crossings are the Renfrew Ferry in Renfrewshire, and the Kilcreggan Ferry in Inverclyde, both run by SPT but outwith the city boundary. The paddle-steamer PS Waverley, the last operational sea going paddle-steamer in the world, still provides services from Glasgow City Centre, mainly catering to the pleasure cruise market. A regular service by Pride of the Clyde waterbuses link the City Centre with Braehead in Renfrewshire, some 30 minutes downstream.

Image:Wfm m8 motorway.jpg


The city also has extensive road connections to other cities. The main M8 motorway passes through the city centre, allowing road transport to Edinburgh and the city's airports. The M8 crosses the Clyde via the Kingston Bridge, and connects to the M77, M73, and M80 motorways that lead throughout Scotland and to England. The M8 is the only Motorway to pass through the centre of a major city in the UK.

It is currently proposed to extend the M74 motorway from its current end point at Tollcross in the East End of Glasgow, through the south side of the city to link with the M77 near the Kingston Bridge. It is hoped that the new link will ease congestion on the busy M8, and provide better road access to Renfrewshire and the airports. The M74 Completion has been dicussed since the 1970s, but faces strong objections due to the environmental impact on local communities, as well as the high cost of the scheme. Community group JAM74 has led opposition to the scheme.

Other road proposals include the East End Regeneration Route, which aims to complete the inner ring road around the city, and provide better access to deprived areas of the East End.


The city has two international airports both outwith the boundary: Glasgow International Airport (GLA) in Paisley, Renfrewshire (13 km west of the city) and Glasgow Prestwick International Airport (PIK) in Prestwick, Ayrshire (46 km to the south-west).

Suburbs and surrounding district

See: List of places in Glasgow, Scotland

Famous Glaswegians

See: List of famous Glaswegians

Twinned cities

Glasgow has been twinned with various cities around the world including:

See also

Notes and references

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External links



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