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Glasgow

Glasgow (glăsˈgō, –kō, glăzˈgō) [key], city (1991 pop. 688,500) and council area, S central Scotland, on the river Clyde. Glasgow is Scotland's leading seaport and largest city and is the center of the great Clydeside industrial belt. Once known for its large shipyards, metalworks, and engineering works, Glasgow's manufactured products now include electronic equipment, computers, chemicals, carpets, textiles, tobacco, and machine tools. Printing, engineering, and tourism are also important. Plagued by widespread slums, the city began a rebuilding program in the late 1950s. Many small companies have moved into industrial parks in surrounding new towns, which has decreased congestion in the inner city. It is connected to London and Edinburgh by rail and has bus and subway systems and an international airport.

Glasgow was founded in the late 6th cent. by St. Mungo (St. Kentigern), who is remembered in the city's arms and motto. The battle of Langside (1568) was fought in what is now a suburb. Glasgow's modern commercial growth began with the American tobacco trade in the 18th cent. and the cotton trade in the early 19th cent. Its proximity to the Lanarkshire coal fields and location on the Clyde (first deepened at Glasgow in 1768) aided its development as an industrial center during the mid-19th cent. By the 1990s Glasgow had largely rid itself of its image as a slum-ridden, unpleasant city by emphasizing its cultural attributes.

Points of interest include St. Mungo's Cathedral (mostly 13th cent.); Kelvingrove Art Galleries and Museum; the Hunterian Art Gallery (at Glasgow Univ., est. 1807); the Provand's Lordship (Glasgow's oldest house, built 1471); the Museum of Transport; the Burrell Museum; the Lighthouse, an architecture, design, and urban planning center; and Norman Foster's Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (1984), popularly known as the "armadillo." Glasgow was the center of a school of realistic art in the late 19th cent. and the home of the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who designed the Glasgow School of Art and Queen's Cross Church. Educational institutions include the Univ. of Glasgow (1451), the Univ. of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian Univ., the City of Glasgow College, and a 17th-century public school.

See R. Crawford, On Glasgow and Edinburgh (2013).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: British and Irish Political Geography


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