Glasgow Travel Blog› entry 1 of 12 › view all entries
July 5th, 2007 – by: mellemel8
The city centre is bounded by the High Street to the east, the River Clyde to the south and the M8 motorway to the west and north which was built through the Townhead, Charing Cross and Anderston areas in the 1960s.
Retail and theatre district
The city centre is based on a grid system of streets, similar to that of Barcelona or American cities, on the north bank of the River Clyde. The heart of the city is George Square, site of many of Glasgow's public statues and the elaborate Victorian Glasgow City Chambers, headquarters of Glasgow City Council.
The city centre is home to most of Glasgow's main cultural venues: The Theatre Royal (home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet), The Pavilion, The King's Theatre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Film Theatre, RSAMD, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Mitchell Library, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, McLellan Galleries and The Lighthouse Museum of Architecture, Design and the City. The world's tallest cinema, the 18 screen Cineworld is sited on Renfrew Street. The city centre is also home to four of Glasgow's higher education institutions:The University of Strathclyde, RSAMD, Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Caledonian University.
To the east is the commercial and residential district of Merchant City, which was formerly the residential district of the wealthy city merchants in the 18th and early 19th centuries. As the Industrial Revolution and the wealth it brought to the city resulted in the expansion of Glasgow's central area westward, the original medieval centre was left behind. This area, commonly known as "Old Glasgow" takes in the eastern fringes of the Merchant City and some of the East End. Glasgow Cross, situated at the junction of High Street, Gallowgate, Trongate and Saltmarket was the original centre of the city. In the Cross sits the Tolbooth Clock Tower; all that remains of the original City Chambers, which was destroyed by fire in 1926. Moving northward up High Street towards Rottenrow and Townhead lies the 15th century Glasgow Cathedral and the Provand's Lordship.
From the late 1980s onwards, the area has been rejuvenated with luxury city centre apartments and warehouse conversions. Many new cafes and restaurants have opened. The area also contains the Old Tolbooth, the Tron Theatre, the Old Fruitmarket, the Trades Hall, and the City Halls.
The area is also home to Glasgow's growing 'Arts Quarter', based around King Street, the Saltmarket and Trongate, and at the heart of the annual Merchant City Festival. There are many art galleries here including Glasgow Print Studio and will soon be home to Trongate 103, a new arts centre.
A large part of Glasgow's gay scene is located within the Merchant City. This includes Polo Lounge, MODA, Delmonica's, Bennett's, Court, Revolver, Merchant Pride, and the UK gay chain store Clone Zone, along with a couple of saunas.
Recently the city council defined (and perhaps expanded) the area known as Merchant City as far west as Buchanan Street, marking these boundaries with new, highly stylised metal signage.
To the western edge of the city centre, occupying the areas of Blythswood Hill and Anderston, lies Glasgow's financial district, known officially as the International Financial Services District (IFSD), although often irreverently nicknamed by the contemporary press as the "square kilometre" or "Wall Street on Clyde". Since the late 1980s the IFSD has grown to become the third largest financial quarter in the UK after the cities of London and Edinburgh.
Since the late 1980s, this area of the city centre has seen the construction of many modern office blocks, a trend which continues into the 21st century with a new wave of high rise developments currently on the drawing board.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!