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Must See Glasgow Architectural Marvels

27 Mar 2020

Must See Glasgow Architectural Marvels

In the grand scheme of things, Glasgow is a small city. You might be surprised to learn it filled with architectural treasures. Some of the finest architecture ever created lines the city street and the latest line of Glasgow architects are continuing the tradition. Whether you’re an architecture lover or find pleasure walking around historic buildings, Glasgow is worthy of a visit.

Here are some of the most impressive buildings you’ll find within the city boundaries.

Glasgow Cathedral
Located on Castle Street, this medieval cathedral is both imposing and prominent. It’s thought to have been built on the site of the church of Saint Mungo, Glasgow’s very own patron saint. Scottish Gothic architectural features include pointed arches, lofty ceilings, ribbed vaults and plenty of intricate stained glass windows.

Gallery of Modern Art
Located slap bang in the centre of the city is the Gallery of Modern Art. it’s one of the most visited art galleries in Scotland. A neoclassical building constructed in 1778, it was originally the townhouse of a wealthy tobacco lord. The building passed through several hands over the years until it was reconstructed in the early 1800s. Additions included cupola, Corinthian pillars, and a substantial hall.

City Chambers
This stunning example of Victorian civic architecture was unveiled by Queen Victoria in 1888. It includes ornate Italianate features, a grandiose staircase made from Carrara marble, mosaic ceilings, mahogany panelling, gold leaf accents, pillars of granite and lashings of stained glass.

Scottish Event Campus
Glasgow has it’s very own rendition of the Sydney Opera House in the form of the SEC Armadillo. The building is actually meant to resemble a group of ship’s hulls, in recognition of Clyde’s shipbuilding heritage. Another iconic building that forms the Scottish Event Campus is the SSE Hydro, often compared to a flying saucer. Both buildings were designed by Norman Foster.

Glasgow Cross
One of the most recognised features of Glasgow cross is the Tolbooth Steeple. It was built in 1626 at the meeting point of the two main streets at that time. The steeple is 38 metres tall and comes complete with a clock mechanism that was repaired in 2008. While we’ve become very used to keeping track of time using our mobile phones, it’s reassuring to be able to tell the time in a traditional way when we need to. This is one of the reasons why so many people still wear a traditional timepiece, of which a Longines watch is a fine example.

Riverside Museum
Riverside Museum building - Must See Glasgow Architectural Marvels
photo © Keith Hunter
The Riverside Museum is an excellent example of modern architecture. It was designed by the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Dame Zaha Hadid, DBE. the building includes fascinating glass facades that mirror the surrounding area and allow light to infiltrate the building.

The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse dates back to 1895 and was the very first commission of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It’s now Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. Climb the spiral staircase and take in the unrivalled view of the city.

Mitchell Library
Crowning the Mitchell Library is Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom. This bronze statue was created by Thomas Clapperton and is a very apt addition to the library. The library itself was constructed in 1877 and architecture aficionados will appreciate the windows, columns, and ornate bronze domed roof.

As you can now appreciate, there’s a lot to be seen in the city of Glasgow if you love to explore and understand history and the architecture that embodies it.

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