A river runs through it. Glasgow is divided into two discrete partitions by the River Clyde: the north and south sides. Most of the city's main amenities and landmarks are in the north side, including the town centre, City Chambers, Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, the Barras, the Barrowlands, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Cathedral, the Provand's Lordship and several theatres, art galleries and nightclubs. The north also has a less prefabricated and more bohemian feel. That said, however, the south does have a far nicer Odeon multiplex.

Through spotted, sullid window glass
Through fleeting boxcar after car
Immersed in stony faded sun
Weatherworn telephone poles
     All peeling, limp, forgotten
     Ever more content to rotting

Trodden fences, feeble boundaries
Hills' horizon close around
Windless hang the grasses now
Stillness, only, rounds the bales
     No greater cause than seeing
     Little needed there but being

This passing screams an aberration--
The steel beneath has settled home
The streaking shadow even so
And yet the inner world defies
     Defined in isolation
     Neglecting outer desolation

50 miles an hour Montana
Stubbled fields and foothills spread
So many blips between boxcars
Now another lonely station
     Shut in once again we pass
     Still silent under spotted glass

September 26, 2001, between Wolf Point and Glasgow, Montana

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest city, lying in the central belt of the country, about 50 miles (75km) from Edinburgh. The city lies on the banks of the River Clyde, and had a history of shipbuilding in the early twentieth century. Its Merchant City, the town centre, was built on revenues from tobacco shipped from Virginia.

Modern buildings in Glasgow include the Glasgow Science Centre and the Royal Concert Hall. Glasgow also boasts a fine selection of parks and museums. The museums include those devoted to transport, religion, and modern art, and the Burrell and Kelvingrove museums of art and antiquities. Along the banks of the Clyde is the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, and shopping centres include the Buchanan Galleries, the glass pyramid of the St Enoch Centre, and the upmarket Princes Square.

Glasgow held a Garden Festival in 1988, and was European Capital of Culture 1990, National City of Sport 1995-99 and UK City of Architecture and Design 1999.

Glasgow hosted the UEFA Champions League final in Hampden stadium in 2002. Apart from the Old Firm of Rangers and Celtic, Glasgow has many other football teams, including Partick Thistle and until its recent takeover by Airdrie, Clydebank.

The Orangemen of Glasgow (members of the Protestant Orange Lodges), parade fairly frequently through the city in the Orange Walk, playing flutes and drums (and holding up traffic).

A native of Glasgow is known as a Glaswegian, as is the city's spoken dialect - you can find some common Glasgow, Edinburgh and Scottish colloquial terms and words here.

The population of Glasgow in 2001 was 577,870.

See also Timeline of Glasgow history.

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. With just over 600,000 inhabitants Glasgow is even bigger than Scottish capital Edinburgh.

The history of Glasgow started in the 4th century AD, when St. Ninian blessed the location of the current Glasgow Cathedral. William Wallace (maybe better known as Braveheart thanks to Mel Gibson) beat the English in 1300 in the Battle at the Bell O'The Brea, which nowadays is at the end of Glasgow’s High Street.

Bishop Turnbull founded the University of Glasgow in 1451. Near current Queen’s Park, in 1568 Mary, Queen of the Scots (escaped from Loch Leven) gathered an army to fight her enemies. Mary's army was badly defeated at Langside, on the outskirts of Glasgow.

At the beginning of the 17th century, tobacco, sugar, rum and cotton trade from the American colonies caused a huge increase in population. The American War of Independence therefore would have meant recession, but the smart Glaswegians had anticipated by diversifying their interests. Helped by the first steps of the Industrial Revolution, the city on the banks of the river Clyde entered the 19th century in bloom. The urban area was specialised in fabrics, iron, chemicals and coal. The bright economical conditions left behind some breathtakingly beautiful Victorian architecture.

Well into the 20th century, Greater Glasgow and the Clyde Valley continued on the track of welfare, developing into one of the world’s foremost ship builders’ centres. After 1945, the post-war period struck depression on Glasgow, but the last few decades the tide has turned, helped by the city’s celebrated history. The new economy consists of tourism and services.

Present Glasgow
Contrary to the classy capital Edinburgh, Glasgow is a city of workers. Yet the latter is but a grey industrial collection of concrete constructions and smoking factories. Its streets are full of impressive Victorian buildings and modern shops, while its cultural life is Scotland’s most sparkling.

Sir Walter Scott stands in the heart of Glasgow, on George Square. The Scottish writer got his place on the honorary column instead of the square’s name giver, the English king George III.

Although the city’s history goes back into the early Middle Ages, in the eighteenth century nearly all buildings have been replaced by Victorian constructions. Glasgow is full of theatres, concert arenas, and shops, with many Icelandic shoppers journeying from Reykjavik.

The main old building is the Glasgow Cathedral in Castle Street, which likely is the most beautiful gothic construction in Scotland. Its 12th century crypt contains St. Mungo’s grave, the saint who probably established a bishopric here. At the square directly in front of the cathedral one can visit the Glasgow Necropolis where rich Victorian merchants are buried. The Bridge of Sighs was built in 1833 and was named after the better-known crossing in Venice. Glasgow’s oldest house is also located at the square: the 1471 Provand’s Lordship used to be a hospital but now contains a museum in furniture and antique.

The centre of town is George Square, with its statues of Sir Walter Scott and eleven other celebrities, among which Queen Victoria, James Watt and Robert Burns. George Square hosts the Bank of Scotland, the Merchant’s House and the Head Post Office, all 19th century buildings.

Recommendable museums include the Art Gallery and Museum (Kelvingrove Park, with many French impressionists), Pollok House (1752, with El Greco and Francisco Goya), children’s museum Haggs Castle and the Museum of Transport. According to wertperch, Glasgow's most unusual house should definitely be mentioned here: House for an Art Lover, designed by Glasgow's best-known architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Contemporary celebrities originating from Glasgow involve comedian/actor Billy Connolly, actor Robert Carlyle, musician Howie B, and authors Grant Morrison, John Byrne and Booker Prize winner James Kelman.

Glasgow is located in the middle of Scotland, around 75km west of Edinburgh. To view its exact location, you can visit http://www.lonelyplanet.com/mapshells/europe/scotland/scotland.htm.

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