Glasgow, Scotland, the largest city in Scotland and the fourth largest in Great Britain. It lies on both banks of the Clyde River in the western part of the heavily populated Central Lowlands.
Glasgow forms the heart of Scotland's major commercial and industrial area, called Clydeside. This area, extending along the Clyde from Glasgow to about Greenock, is the center of the Scottish iron and steel industry and has shipbuilding, ship-repairing, and marine-engineering facilities. A variety of other industries are located in and near Glasgow; their products include locomotives, chemicals, electronic equipment, whisky, processed foods, and textiles.
Glasgow and other port facilities along the Clyde make up Scotland's chief port—one of the busiest in Great Britain. The city is served by a network of railways and highways and an international airport.
Glasgow's most notable historic building is Glasgow Cathedral, also known as Saint Mungo Cathedral, dating from the 12th century. Glasgow is a major Scottish center of education and culture. The University of Glasgow, founded in 1451, is the city's oldest and largest institution of higher learning. Other schools include the University of Strathclyde and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Glasgow's Art Gallery and Museum has exhibits on art, technology, archeology, and natural history. St. Mungo Museum, next to the cathedral, is devoted to religious art. Mitchell Library, the largest public reference library in Scotland, has an important collection of the works of Robert Burns. The Theatre Royal is the permanent home of the Scottish Opera.
According to tradition, Glasgow was founded by Saint Mungo in the sixth century, when he came to the Clyde valley to convert the people to Christianity. The city was made a bishopric in 1115 and granted a charter about 1180.
Glasgow remained relatively small until the union of Scotland and England in 1707. Thereafter, it was opened to trade with England's American colonies and became a thriving port, dealing mainly in tobacco, sugar, and cotton. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution after 1750 Glasgow underwent large-scale industrialization, its development aided by its location on the Clyde River near coal and iron-ore deposits. The city's greatest growth came during the 19th century, when Great Britain was the world's leading industrial nation.
Glasgow suffered an economic decline between World Wars I and II. New, diversified industries helped revive its economy during the postwar era. By the 1980's, however, some of Glasgow's major industries, notably shipbuilding, had declined to such an extent that the city was again facing serious economic problems.
Population (district): 629,501.