Its been quite the perilous journey, we’re glad you’ve stayed with us. Now at the half way point there’s no turning back. But what has made the No. 5 – No. 1 facts making Glasgow the greatest city in the world?

Quick!! Read on!! The anticipation must be killing you.

5. Glasgow is Scotland’s city of culture

crm

Glasgow is a remarkable hub of art and culture. It has more than 20 museums, nearly all gifted to the general public through free admission.

Three world class universities within a three mile radius, whilst the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD) has been the centre point of the arts scene in Glasgow since 1845.

Glasgow can also claim to be responsible for one of the world’s greatest artists, who is in turn responsible for the creation of one of the greatest buildings in history. We are of course referring to Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Turner prize has been referred to as “Glasgow’s” prize on account of the amount of entrants and winners of the prize who’s heritage resides within the city.

2005 witnessed the award going to Simon Starling and then following that, for three consecutive years from 2009 onwards, Glasgow again claimed the prize.

In total Glasgow entrants have won the award four times in the last ten years, and in 2015 it was announced the world famous award ceremony would be held in Glasgow’s Tramway Art Centre.

In 1996 Tate curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist caused controversy when he suggested that Glasgow’s Turner prize winners were nothing short of a miracle, on account of the dismal social hegemony and general bleak expectation of life experienced by people growing up in the city.

It’s hard to understand why Glasgow consistently creates such free thinking, talented individuals, but Glasgow embraced the “Glasgow Miracle” tag and it is now possible to go on “Glasgow Miracle” tours.

A well known quote from the play Lanark explains it best. “Glasgow is a magnificent city. Why do we hardly ever notice,” says one character to his friend.

“Because nobody ever imagines living there,” comes the retort.

(We know 800,000 odd people who would beg to differ.)

4. Glasgow has Europe’s largest civic arts collection,  currently valued at £1.8 billion pounds

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Glasgow’s civic art collection is unsurpassed for its cultural benefits to the city (and Scotland). Remarkably the eight museums containing the incredibly valuable art collection are all free entry.

The Tall Ship located on the water next to the Riverside Museum announced it was following the philanthropic nature of Glasgow’s museums and is now also free entry.

Kelvingrove Museum in the West End opened its doors in 1901, meaning it’s 113 years old. Older than that however is the Provand’s Lordship museum close to where the Royal Infirmary and Cathedral currently stand. Built in 1471 it remains one of three Medieval buildings still standing in Glasgow and is free for the public to visit.

3. Glasgow has trees twice as old as the dinosaurs

fossil-trees

Fossil Grove in Glasgow’s Victoria Park is home to eleven extinct fossilised trees. More than 330 million years in age. The trees are twice as old, as when dinosaurs first roamed the earth. The ancient forest grew when Glasgow’s climate was warm and humid, similar to the climate around the equator rather than the brisk chilly climate Scotland currently experiences. (Random fact, the equator 330 million years ago was next to East Kilbride.)

Discovered in 1887, during the landscaping of an old quarry, helping with the construction of Victoria Park. The workmen present must have realised the importance of the discovery and after careful removal of surrounding rocks, discovered the remains of a 330 million year old forest, undisturbed since the Glasgow was a tropical, swampy landscape, infested with enormous insects. (Think, the scene in King Kong remake where the crew get attacked by the creepy crawlies.)

It is thought that the enormous tropical forest covered an area in the region of 4500 trees per sq. km and Fossil Grove is considered one of the most important botanical discoveries in history.

It’s remarkable that 127 years ago, Glasgow Corporation, had the foresight to understand just how valuable a discovery they had uncovered and how important it would be to Palaeobotanical science in the future.

Have you read the rest of our top 10 Glasgow? #10, #9-#6 or #2? What would your choice for no1 be?