Sunday, February 12, 2012

Scottish Major Cities



Edinburgh is the capital and second largest city in Scotland. Founded on Castle Rock by ancient British tribes who utilised the strategic elevated position of the volcanic rock. It is named after Edwin, King of Northumbria in the 7th century. Edinburgh did not develop into a town until the 11th century, but it soon grew and in 1532 it was declared Scotland's capital. Edinburgh Castle has been the home of Scottish Royalty for many centuries. The castle is open to visitors and guided tours are given regularly.


Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and in its prime it was often referred to as the 'Second Capital'. Glasgow was founded in the 6th century by St Mungo. He built a church here and the town slowly grew around it. Glasgow grew over the centuries and by 1450 it was declared a city. The city gained wealth and importance during the Industrial Revolution due to its iron and steel production. Glasgow grew even more after the Union of Parliaments was signed in 1707 and trade with America made the huge port famous. Glasgow's importance began to decline in the 20th century beginning with the Depression in the 1930's. Today the city is a successful centre of modern technology.  Glasgow offers a full range of entertainment throughout the year. 


Situated on the north side of the Firth of Tay. Dundee is the administrative centre for the Tayside Region of east Scotland and the country's fourth largest city. Dundee was a famous ship building centre in the 18th century. Today it is an industrial city that has many sights on its famed port. On the waterfront two historic ships can be seen. The H.M.S. Unicorn is a wooden ship of 46 guns that was built in 1824. The Unicorn is the oldest British warship still afloat and it is still fitted as it was on its last voyage. One of the last of the original sailing ships made in Britain is the Discovery. It was a research ship built in 1901 that was used by Captain Scott on two expeditions to Antarctica. It is now anchored at Craig Pier and is open for tours.  The McManus Galleries are located in Albert Square. The gallery exhibits collections of Victorian art and archaeological materials of the area. Outside the gallery is a statue of the famous poet Robert Burns.  


Perth lies beside the River Tay in the Tayside region, it is the smallest of   Scotland's cities. The Scottish Parliament met there on occasions and it was the home of many Scottish kings.Perth is an historical city that was once the capital of medieval Scotland. The city had religious importance because it was the home to the large monasteries of the Black Friars, the Grey Friars, the White Friars and the Carthusian's. These monasteries were destroyed after the sermons of John Knox in 1559 when he launched the Scottish reformation from the pulpit of St John's Kirk.   


Aberdeen has grown considerably since 1972 and is now the third largest city in Scotland.  There is much here for visitors who have an interest in history and art. The oldest house in Aberdeen is Provost Skene's House. Built in 1545, it was once the home of Sir George Skene, a mayor of Aberdeen in the 17th century. Two hundred years of design can be seen inside the period rooms. The Aberdeen Maritime Museum is  located in Shiprow, overlooking the harbour. Exhibitions trace the local seafaring history of Aberdeen. Displays on shipwrecks, fishing, shipbuilding, wrecks and rescues, and the workings of the oil fields can be found here.  The Art Gallery features collections of 18th to 20th century art. The decorative arts collection is comprised mostly of Aberdonian silver. Collections of jewellery, ceramics, tapestries and glass can all be seen here.



Often referred to as the 'capital' of the highlands Inverness is the northernmost major city of Scotland. Once a small village nestling on the shores of the River Ness, Inverness is today a thriving, modern town and commercial centre. The heart of the town offers a wide variety of shopping experiences from the ubiquitous souvenir shops to famous high street retailers like Marks & Spencer. Inverness boasts some of the finest traditional kilt making shops in Scotland and no holiday would be complete without a visit to watch the most famous of all Scottish garments being made. Enjoy a short stroll along the banks of the River Ness, taking in the beautiful St. Andrew's Cathedral, famous for it's unfinished twin spires.


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