The City of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, is located on the River Clyde, in the county of Lanarkshire, approximately 402 miles north-north-west of London and 45 miles west of Edinburgh.
The city has a population of around 560,000. Administratively it is the seat of the unitary council region of City of Glasgow which covers an area of approximately 175 sq kms.
It is one of Britains largest and most vibrant cities, and a major commercial and transport centre, with excellent shopping, leisure and entertainment, and visitor facilities. It retains some fine Georgian and Victorian architecture and numerous historic buildings, including the 12th-century cathedral, the only complete medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland. It is also home to one of the country's leading universities. A popular tourist centre with many attractions, the city's location gives convenient access to the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond, the Trossachs and the Highlands.
The city's history dates from 543AD when St.Mungo built a church here in what was then called Glasgu. By the 12th century Glasgow had been granted the status of a city and the cathedral, built of stone and consecrated in 1136, was the seat of the Bishops and Archbishops of Glasgow. The University of Glasgow was established by Papal Bull in 1451 and Glasgow became an important religious and academic city. Duuring the 17th century, the University moved from the cathedral precincts to a new building in the High Street. By the 16th century the city had become an important trading centre. Standing on the Clyde, and with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean sugar and American tobacco and cotton were imported via the city's port for distribution throughout the country. During the 1770s, the de-silting of the Clyde led to bigger ships moving further up the river, and shipbuilding and industry began to flourish. With local coal and iron, cotton factories and textile mills, many merchants acquired great wealth, leading to the building of some spectacular buildings which still stand today, as well as investing their money in the city. The burgh was constituted as the County of the City of Glasgow in 1893, and Glasgow became one of the richest cities in the world. By the 1960s, with the closure of many of the shipyards, the city had fallen into economic decline. However, since the 1980s the city has experienced an economic and cultural renaissance with the building of a new financial district, leisure and retail facilities, and has become Scotland's capital of contemporary music.
Historically, shipbuilding was the main industry, however, although there are still three shipyards, this industry had declined by the 1960s. Today, Glasgow has a thriving financial district which is centred around its FTSE Stock Exchange. The manufacturing sector is strong, accounting for over 60% of Scotland's manufactured exports, especially in engineering, shipbuilding, chemicals, food and drink, publishing and textiles. 20% of the UK's biotechnology sector is based here, and Glasgow is also part of Silicon Glen which produces over 30% of Europe's PCs, 80% of its workstations, and 65% of its ATMs.
The name Glasgow derives from Glasgu meaning 'beloved green place'.