Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Its Gilmorehill campus, in the city’s trendy West End, is home to two fascinating museums, hosts a range of public events and lectures throughout the year, and attracts visitors from around the world.
Glasgow is ranked in the top one per cent of the world's universities, is a member of the Russell Group and a founder member of Universitas 21, the international network of research universities. It was the first university in Scotland to admit women to study medicine, the first place in the world to publish ultrasound images of a foetus, and the first UK university to appoint a professor of engineering. Its alumni include John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, former Prime Ministers Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Andrew Bonar Law, former Labour Party leader John Smith, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and television writers Armando Ianucci and Steven Moffat.
Scotland’s oldest public museum, founded in 1807, houses a rich and varied collection of important objects. It consists, in large part, of the personal collection of 18th-century anatomist and doctor William Hunter, who was a leading teacher of anatomy and the foremost obstetrician of his time. His teaching and research materials are on display in a permanent exhibition dedicated to him. Scientific instruments from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, including some used by Joseph Lister and Lord Kelvin, sit alongside a model steam engine which inventor James Watt tried to repair in 1763. It was his inability to get it working properly that led to him inventing the separate condenser for the steam engine, which made the Industrial Revolution possible. As well as the items Hunter avidly collected, including minerals and coins, there are Roman objects, artefacts from Captain Cook’s Pacific travels, medieval pottery, fossils, dinosaur remains and Scotland’s first dinosaur footprint, found in 1982.
Hunterian Art Gallery
Masterpieces by Rembrandt and Rubens sit alongside works by the Scottish Colourists and the Glasgow Boys in the Hunterian Art Gallery, which contains more than 900 paintings and around 40,000 works on paper as well as sculpture and ceramics. Most notably, the gallery is home to the largest collection of the work of 19th-century artist, architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who designed the Glasgow School of Art. As well as his prints, drawings and architecturral furniture, textile and interior designs, you can also see the Mackintosh House, the reassembled interiors from his Glasgow home, with the original furniture and fittings. The gallery also houses the world’s largest permanent display of the work of James McNeill Whistler, including his paintings, drawings and etchings, as well as work by Rennie Mackintosh’s wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh, and Whistler’s wife Beatrix Philip.
The 12-floor university library houses more than two-and-a-half-million books and journals, and provides access to a further 30,000 electronic journals, making it one of the largest in Europe and a resource for scholars worldwide.
Book one of our hotels near Glasgow University and you’ll be in the middle of a fashionable, bohemian district of boutiques, restaurants, cafes, tea rooms and bars. Head to Byres Road for eclectic restaurants and independent shops, or visit the riverside Glasgow Botanic Gardens, home to tropical plants, Australasian tree ferns, orchids, desert plants, rhododendrons, a herb garden and an arboretum.
Right outside the university is the 85-acre Kelvingrove Park, a haven for birds and wildlife, including foxes and otters. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, next to the park, is one of Scotland’s most popular free visitor attractions. Its 22 themed galleries include collections on natural history, ancient Egypt and Scottish history, as well as Dutch, French and Scottish artwork, including pieces by Dali, Monet and Van Gogh.
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