A Travellerspoint blog

October 2017

Glasgow Revisited

Summer 2017.

Glasgow is home rather than a centre of tourism for me, but in recent years I have been looking a bit more closely at its sights. I started by having a look at The Lighthouse.

Why would there be a lighthouse in the centre of Glasgow you are probably wondering. Well, The Lighthouse was designed by Glasgow's most famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It was originally used as the offices of the Glasgow Herald newspaper. It was completed in 1895. Mackintosh designed the tower of this building to hold an 8,000-gallon water tank to protect the building and all its contents in the event of a fire.

Nowadays it is Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture and called The Lighthouse because its tower looks like a lighthouse. It is free entry. It houses various exhibitions including one on Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It has two viewing points. One is at the top of the spiral lighthouse tower stairs and the other is accessible by lift. There is a gift shop on the ground floor. Personally I was not interested in the exhibitions in the building, but I liked the building itself and the views from it.

On level five of The Lighthouse there is a restaurant called the Doocot Café Bar. It is open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am to 4.30pm and from 12.00pm to 4.30pm on Sundays.

The towers that earn this building its name.

The towers that earn this building its name.

Stairway up the tower.

Stairway up the tower.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

View from the top.

Around this area there were a lot more murals that have been used to brighten up buildings in the city centre and west end.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Glasgow mural.

Later I had a quick look in GOMA - the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art. This is located in Royal Exchange Square. Again I personally found the building more interesting than the exhibits inside. It was built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow Tobacco Lord. It was later bought in 1817 by the Royal Bank of Scotland. It then became the Royal Exchange. In 1954, Glasgow District Libraries moved the Stirling's Library into the building. This is the use I associate it with as that is what it was in my childhood. In 1996 it became a gallery of modern art. Entry to the building is free; exhibitions change, downstairs is still a library.

In front of the gallery there is an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington. This was sculpted by Carlo Marochetti in 1844. Drunken revellers used to regularly place a traffic cone on this statue's head for a laugh and it was always being removed. Now it has a permanent traffic cone, in fact three on our last visit, and it has become a symbol of Glasgow. We stayed for one night in the nearby Ibis Styles Hotel and found traffic cones and cranes were the themes to this building. It even had traffic cone shaped lights.

The Duke of Wellington.

The Duke of Wellington.

Inside GOMA.

Inside GOMA.

Ibis Styles, Glasgow.

Ibis Styles, Glasgow.

The other touristy things we did was to revisit Riverside Museum which was closed when we last went there. This time we walked to it from Partick Station, easier than from the SECC.

Riverside Museum occupies a beautiful glass fronted building on the banks of the River Clyde. It was designed by world renowned Iraqi female architect Zaha Hadid. It is home to Glasgow's transport museum. This is free entry and is well-worth seeing. I liked its Glasgow underground exhibit and replica of an old-style Glasgow street.

Out the front of the museum, you can board a tall ship - the Glenlee - one of only five remaining Clydebuilt sailing ships still afloat in the world. This is also free entry and very child friendly.

Peter with the Glenlee.

Peter with the Glenlee.

Me outside Riverside.

Me outside Riverside.

On the Glenlee.

On the Glenlee.

On the Glenlee.

On the Glenlee.

In the transport museum.

In the transport museum.

In the transport museum.

In the transport museum.

We also took the free ferry from Riverside across the River Clyde to visit Govan Old Parish Church - a lovely building dating from 1888, which is home to the Govan Stones. The Govan Stones are a collection of early medieval stones carved in the Kingdom of Strathclyde in the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries. The stones include the sun stone, the Jordanhill cross - so called because it was found in the grounds of Jordanhill House, the cuddy stane - with its image of a donkey, hogbacks, which look like they are some living scampering animal, and a very ornately decorated stone sarcophagus. Govan Old also has an interesting graveyard which is older than the church. Some of its stones featured winged skulls and reminded me of the carvings on old gravestones in Boston.

Govan Old Church.

Govan Old Church.

Stone Sarcophagus.

Stone Sarcophagus.

The Jordanhill Cross.

The Jordanhill Cross.

The Sun Stone.

The Sun Stone.

The Hogbacks.

The Hogbacks.

Reminds me of the grave stones in Boston.

Reminds me of the grave stones in Boston.

Free ferry between Govan Stones and Riverside.

Free ferry between Govan Stones and Riverside.

Looking back at Riverside and the Glenlee from Govan.

Looking back at Riverside and the Glenlee from Govan.

Posted by irenevt 19:08 Archived in Scotland Comments (2)

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