Glasgow City

Glasgow Cathedral
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Glasgow Cathedral

Located on the River Clyde, 42 miles (67 km) west of Edinburgh and 397 miles (639 km) north of London, Glasgow is Scotland's largest city. It is noted for its industrial heritage, strong local identity and vibrant cultural scene. Since the 12th C. it has developed through religious, educational, commercial and industrial activities becoming a centre for trade with North America and the West Indies in the 18th C. By the early 19th C. Glasgow was the second city of the Empire. With its growing importance, the city attracted a large number of immigrants (Irish, Jewish, Italian and East European) who contributed greatly to the economy and local community. However it also endured many of the side effects of rapid industrial growth, such as social deprivation, overcrowded slum housing and infant mortality. The economic base of the city shifted to heavy industry in the late 19th C. with the expansion of shipbuilding and engineering, which, susceptible to economic downturns, resulted in Glasgow being classed as a "depressed area" in the 1930s. The population of the city had reached one million by 1921 and continued to increase until the Second World War. Thereafter it declined as people were moved from city-centre slums to outlying housing schemes and the New Towns. Later, many of these new housing schemes became the focus of social problems. The population now stands at only 598,830 (2011).

In the 1970s many city centre buildings were destroyed to make room for urban motorways yet much of the city escaped intact. Today, Glasgow is an important location for education, finance, light industry, shipbuilding and tourism. It boasts numerous galleries, museums and historic buildings and has achieved the status of European City of Culture (1990) and UK City of Architecture and Design (1999). It also promoted itself through a long running community campaign under the slogan "Glasgow's Miles Better".

Glasgow is recognised as having the second largest retail sector of any British city after London, worth around £1.8 billion (2014). This is centred on its Style Mile around Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Ingram Street in the Merchant City, with shopping complexes including Buchanan Galleries, Princes Square and St. Enoch Centre in the city centre. Beyond are The Forge, Glasgow Fort, the Silverburn Centre and Braehead Centre.

The city was host to the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1988, the 20th Commonwealth Games in 2014 and co-host, with Berlin, of the European Championships of 2018. In terms of sport, the city is best known for its rival 'old firm' teams, Rangers and Celtic (founded in 1873 and 1888 respectively) but is also home to two further football clubs; Queen's Park (1867) and Partick Thistle (1876). It is also the location of the National Stadium at Hampden Park and the Scottish Football Museum, together with the National Indoor Sports Arena, Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Glasgow's former dockland is the location of Scotland's largest multi-use entertainment venue, the SEC Centre, which opened in 1985, that together with the SEC Armadillo (added 2000) and the SSE Hydro (2013) forms the Scottish Event Campus.

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