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Tourist Attractions

Royal Concert Hall
Opened in 1990 as part of Glasgow’s tenure as European City of Culture, The Royal Concert Hall was built to replace the St Andrews Hall (now the site of the Mitchell Library) which was destroyed in a fire in 1964. Its imposing facade has brought much criticism from those living in Glasgow.

The Concert Hall is located at the junction of Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street and is opposite Buchanan Street Bus Station. It comprises two halls, a larger main hall with a capacity of 2500 and the Strathclyde Suite accommodating 500.

The Pavilion Theatre
The Pavilion Theatre, designed by Bertie Crewe for Thomas Barrasford, opened at the corner of Renfield Street and Renfrew Street in Glasgow in 1904. Regarded as luxurious for its time, an electrically operated sliding roof ensured good ventilation.

Performances in the early days were mainly variety, melodrama and pantomime. Many of the leading music hall artistes of the period appeared at the Pavilion, including a then unknown Charlie Chaplin.
Since the 1930s, the Pavilion has hosted pantomimes with top name stars of the Scottish variety scene. In more recent times it has also produced plays, such as ‘The Sash’ and ‘The Steamie’.

The Pavilion Theatre is now the only privately run theatre in Scotland and one of a few unsubsidised independent theatres in Britain.

The King’s Theatre
The King’s Theatre was designed by Frank Matcham and opened in 1904 primarily as a receiving house for touring musicals, dance, comedy and circus-type performances. The theatre also provides a prominent stage for local amateur productions and stages an annual pantomime.

Over the years many actors and actresses have graced the stage of The King’s. These included Sir Lawrence Olivier , Sarah Bernhardt , John Gielgud , Katharine Hepburn and Tyrone Power . A young Michael Jackson even featured there as part of a Jackson Five appearance at a Royal Variety Performance in the late 1970s.

The theatre occupies the corner of Bath Street and Elmbank Street, in the Charing Cross area of Glasgow.

Glasgow Film Theatre
Situated in a ‘B’ listed modernist European building with a post art deco interior, The Glasgow Film Theatre or GFT is an independent cinema in Rose Street, just off Sauchiehall Street , Glasgow.

The GFT’s predecessor, the Cosmo, opened with 850 seats in the same building in 1934, and was Scotland’s first ever arts cinema. In 1953, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was broadcast live – the first television performance in a Glasgow cinema.

In 1974 the Scottish Film Council purchased the Cosmo and reopened it as the Glasgow Film Theatre. In reference to the previous name the downstairs bar was named Café Cosmo.

In 1986 the GFT became an independent charity, and in 1988, benefited from a second cinema opening in time for Glasgow’s year as European City of Culture (1990).

The GFT still project using traditional film, but have now also embraced modern digital film technology.

The Scottish Event Campus
Opened in 1985 and built at a cost of £36 million, the SECC is the main city venue for pop concerts, conferences and trade exhibitions attracting people from not only Glasgow and the rest of Scotland but from all over the world.

The Centre, comprising five interlinked halls covering an area of 19,000 sq.m (204,500 sq. feet) is situated on the site of the former Queen’s Dock, a mile (2 km) west of Glasgow city centre on the northern bank of the River Clyde.

The Clyde Auditorium

The Clyde Auditorium dominates the north bank of the River Clyde and is now one of the principal concert venues in the country.

Built by Sir Norman Foster at a cost of £30m, the auditorium has gained the nickname of “The Armadillo” due to its resemblance to the animal of the same name. Its silver metallic finish complements the Glasgow Science Centre located on the south bank of the river. The Finnieston Crane, an established Glasgow waterfront landmark, lies directly to the east.

The Glasgow Science Centre
The Glasgow Science Centre lies on the southern bank of the River Clyde, on the site of the 1988 Garden Festival. The Centre comprises Scotland’s first Imax Cinema, a 122m (400 feet) fully rotating tower with viewing platform and a four storey, titanium clad Science Mall, which includes a range of interactive displays and exhibitions. The centre was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth in July 2001.

If walking to the Science Centre you can cross the river Clyde on the Clyde Arc which Glaswegians have dubbed the “Squinty Bridge” because it crosses the river diagonally to link the north and south banks.

Glasgow Cathedral
Glasgow Cathedral is the best preserved example of a large church to have survived the Reformation, and has one of the finest post-war collections of stained-glass windows to be seen in Britain.

Situated in Castle Street at the top end of the High Street the first stone building was consecrated in about 1136.
After the Reformation a wall was put across the nave to allow the western portion of the nave to be used for worship by a congregation which became know as the Outer High. This congregation worshiped in the nave from 1647 until 1835.

The Lower Church was used by another congregation, the Barony, from 1596-1801, until a new church was built just across from the Cathedral.

When the Lower Church was no longer used for worship, soil was brought in to a depth of about five feet and it became the burial place for members of the Barony Congregation. The visible parts of the pillars were coloured black with white “tears”, the graves were enclosed by railings four feet high, with two narrow passages for access. The Lower Church was cleared before the middle of the 19th century.

The congregation which used the Quire was for a time called the Inner High. The pulpit was placed between pillars of the south aisle and the King’s Seat was on the north aisle. In 1805 a major reconstruction saw the pulpit removed to the east end. Galleries were inserted between the pillars on three sides, and the King’s Seat was removed to the western gallery in front of the Pulpitum or Choir Screen.

The cathedral is used for a number of recitals as well as regular worship.

The Gallery of Modern Art
What is now The Gallery of Modern Art was originally built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow tobacco lord.

The building, situated adjacent to The Western Club in Royal Exchange Square, has undergone a series of different uses. It was bought in 1817 by the Royal Bank of Scotland who later moved onto Buchanan Street and the building then became the Royal Exchange. Reconstruction for this use was undertaken by David Hamilton between 1827 and 1832 and resulted in many additions to the building, namely the Corinthian pillars to the Queen Street facade, the cupola above and the large hall to the rear of the old house.

In 1954, Glasgow District Libraries moved the Stirling’s Library into the building and since the return of the library to Miller Street it has been used to house the Gallery of Contemporary Art.

The Light House
Located within Mitchell Lane, to the west of Buchanan Street in Glasgow City Centre, The Lighthouse is Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design and was the focal point for Glasgow’s celebration as City of Architecture in 1999. Housed within the former Glasgow Herald building and designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it has numerous levels housing exhibition space as well as the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was built in 1901 by the English architects Sir J.W. Simpson and E.J. Milner Allen. Following the Glasgow tradition it was built of red sandstone in a Spanish Baroque style and its main entrance faces onto the River Kelvin Valley while the most used doorway is on Sauchiehall Street. This has given rise to the mistaken belief that the building was built the wrong way round. Originally intended to house a concert hall and an art school, it was opened in 1902 without either function.

The collection is divided into four departments: Natural History and Zoology which houses a range of displays on local flora and fauna and exhibits on fossils, minerals, insects, etc; Archaeology which ranges from Egyptian artefacts to the Scott Collection of European Arms and Armour; Decorative Art housing collections of ceramics, glass, furniture, silverware, costumes, textiles and metal work; and Fine Art which comprises of works by Monet, Degas, Rubens, Van Gogh, Matisse, Courbet, Pisarro and Whistler, as well as works by Scottish Artists such as Allan Ramsay, Horatio McCulloch and Francis Cadell.

The Museum and Art Gallery was formally reopened in July 2006 by HM Queen Elizabeth II following a three-year closure for a major refurbishment, which cost £27.9 million.

The Burrell Collection
The Burrell Collection was gifted to the City of Glasgow by Sir William Burrell, ship owner and art collector, in 1944. After much wrangling over where the collection should be located, in 1963, it was finally agreed that it should be housed in a purpose built gallery within Pollok Country Park on the south side of the city. Designed by Barry Gasson, John Meunier and Brit Anderson of the Cambridge University School of Architecture, the Gallery was finally opened to the public in 1983.
The collection comprises: 19th-century paintings, including works by Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, McTaggart and Whistler; North European mediaeval art, including stained glass, tapestries and sculptures; European post-mediaeval art, comprising of silver, table glass and needlework; Oriental art which includes Chinese ceramics, Japanese prints and bronzes and jade; Near-East carpets from areas between India and Turkey; and Artefacts which covers items from Egypt, Greece, Rome, Assyria and Mesopotamia.

It is said that the collection is so vast that they can only display about a quarter of it at any time, giving you plenty of incentive to visit regularly to see the changed exhibits.

Hunterian Gallery
Located on University Avenue and within the University of Glasgow, the Hunterian Art Gallery is based on the collection of William Hunter (1718 – 83). This purpose-built gallery was opened in 1980, with art works being transferred from the Hunterian Museum. It has paintings by Chardin, Rembrandt and Koninck, as well as by 18th Century British artists such as Sir Joshua Reynolds and Allan Ramsay (1713 – 84). The gallery includes the largest European collection of the works of James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), totalling more than 70 paintings. The collection also has items by Picasso and Hockney.

Most notable is the Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) collection, the world’s largest collection of his works, comprising over 80 pieces of furniture and 700 watercolours, designs and drawings. There is also a reproduction of his Glasgow home located within the Gallery.

Glasgow School of Art
Glasgow School of Art was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and over 200 pieces of Mackintosh designed furniture, the majority of which were specifically designed for the school, remain in the rooms for which they were designed.
The collection is complemented by water colours and architectural drawings by Mackintosh as well as diverse items such as light fittings and cutlery. There are also works on display from associated artists (Margaret and Frances MacDonald, Herbert MacNair) and from former staff and students.

The Scottish Football Museum
Located within the home of Scottish Football at Hampden Park, the Scottish Football Museum highlights the history and traditions of ‘the beautiful game’. With more than 2500 exhibits in fourteen galleries, including part of the old Hampden Changing Room and Press Box and the Scottish Cup, the world’s oldest surviving national football trophy. There are also many artifacts relating to the greats of Scottish football, such as Kenny Dalglish and Denis Law. The museum also has sound and film archives from Scottish games.

Visitors can also tour the stadium.

Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens
Why not take the chance to learn the social history of the people and city of Glasgow from 1750 to the present at The People’s Palace within the grounds of historic Glasgow Green, a short walk from the heart of the City.
You can see paintings, prints and photographs displayed alongside a wealth of historic artefacts, film and computer interactive depicting the changing face of Glasgow.

Attached to the People’s Palace is the elegant Victorian glasshouse -the Winter Gardens -where you can relax among the tropical plants and enjoy the café.

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32 Royal Exchange Square
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