Categories > Guides and Tips

12 Interesting Facts About Glasgow You Didn't Know

12 Interesting Facts About Glasgow You Didn’t Know

Glasgow is filled with tourist spots, curiosities, and cultural highlights that make it worth a visit! However, did you know that there are a ton of interesting tidbits that most people still don’t know about this great Scottish City?

From historical anomalies, famous people, memorable places, and criminals, you might be surprised at how much more you can learn about this great city. Get ready as we list down some of the most interesting facts about Glasgow!

Glasgow City has its own Statue of Liberty.

The Glasgow City Chambers has a curiosity located on top of its pediment– it’s a statue that bears a striking resemblance to the Statue of Liberty found in New York. While most of them affectionately refer to her as Lady Liberty, this isn’t actually the case. 

This statue is actually a representation of Truth and right beside her are two other statues depicting totally different concepts embodied in human form. These two other figures represent “honour” and “riches”– all Instagrammable statues if you ask us!

Glasgow is where Stan Laurel rose to fame.

You’ve probably heard of the comedic duo Laurel and Hardy who effortlessly combined American and British humour for some unforgettable Hollywood scenes. But did you know that Stan Laurel started his comedic rise to fame in Glasgow way back in 1906?

Laurel had his debut on stage at the Panopticon Theatre before he turned 16 and the rest, as they say, is history. The said Theatre though, is one of the oldest music halls across the globe and its audiences back then supported Laurel and made him a hit!

Glasgow was home to some banished criminals.

There’s an area to the South of Clyde referred to as “Gorbals,” which didn’t wasn’t considered a part of the city of Glasgow until around the 19th Century. It’s a historical settlement for sure, thanks to what transpired here in the olden days.

Gorbal magistrates used to banish criminals to the northern part of this area in the hope of ridding themselves of the drunkards, robbers, and miscreants of the time. We can only imagine what the place looked like back then– interesting but frightening!

Glasgow is considered Scotland’s cultural capital.

While the Fringe Festival might be a popular event in Edinburgh, Glasgow is still considered the centre of Scotland’s rich culture. The city has more than 20 art galleries and museums which feature the masterpieces of some of the most famous artists.

There are a ton of things you can appreciate around the city but some of the heavy hitters to look out for include works from Claude Monet, Salvador  Dali, and Van Gogh. The city is also home to talented theatre artists and musicians– truly a cultural delight!

Glasgow is the birthplace of football.

International football doesn’t have Scotland as one of its highly-rated teams at present. However, did you know that Glasgow is considered the place where football originated way back in the late 1800s?

The very first match was held in 1872  between Scotland and England and the teams observed association rules during the game. It was held at Patrick Cricket Ground and fortunately, the game ended up in a draw, resulting in no further diplomatic issues!

Glasgow is home to the alleged remains of St. Valentine.

In a small wooden box at the Church of Blessed St. John Duns Scotus, you’ll find the remains of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers. This was donated all the way back in 1868 to the said Franciscan church,

Surprisingly, there seems to be a number of saints named Valentines, and the patron saint of lovers that we know of seems to be a combination of all of them. Regardless of who lies in that box, priests offer a prayer to the relic every 14th of February,

A lot of people (locals included) believe the urban myth that the Kelvingrove Art Gallery was constructed starting from the back to the front. According to the stories, there was also an architect working in the art gallery who got frustrated and committed suicide.

This information, though, is inaccurate as the construction of the said building has always been done as it was meant to be. Simply put, the entrance was intended to face Kelvingrove Park in preparation for the 1901 International Exhibition at Glasgow.

Scotland is the birthplace of Chicken Tikka Masala.

While Chicken Tikka Masala may seem like it originated from the Indian Subcontinent, it actually originated from the city of Glasgow itself. We can’t blame you though, as it is very similar to the Indian dish called butter chicken.

Legend has it that a Bangladeshi English Chef served some chicken curry to a customer one night but according to the client, it was too dry. The chef decided to add some tomato soup to it which the customer loved and the rest, as they say, is history!

Glasgow is home to the world’s first ultrasound machine.

As we mentioned earlier, Glasgow is a city steeped in culture making it Scotland’s centre in terms of science and arts. It comes as no surprise then, that one of the most popular scientific treasures can be found here– the first ultrasound machine!

It was first used in the 1950s in Glasgow and has greatly changed and improved the lives and wellness of women the world over. You can find this interesting piece of medical equipment along with anatomical specimens at the Hunterian Museum. 

Glasgow has an iconic railway system.

Glasgow has one of the oldest train systems in the world referred to by the locals as the “clockwork orange”. The name is based on the orange colour of the trains and the clock like precision of the system which goes from one end of the track to the other.

It became operational in 1897 and was only the third train able to transport passengers after Budapest and London. While there are numerous modernisation programs to keep the subway system updated, you can still feel that old-timey while on the subway!

Glasgow has a Hollywood-worthy marble staircase.

The City Chambers of Glasgow is located in one of the city’s most imposing buildings and is currently the HQ of the City Council. It’s a building that seems to be trapped in the 19th century (but in a good way) due to its opulence and alluring grandeur.

The centrepiece of the building though, is its marble staircase which makes it look like a scene taken straight out of the Vatican. In fact, this staircase is so impressive that it’s commonly used by Hollywood film directors if they want to shoot a fancy scene!

It was believed that a missionary established Glasgow.

St. Mungo, a Christian missionary, was believed to be the founder of  Glasgow in the 6th Century. This isn’t totally accurate though, as there is evidence that there were already settlements in Glasgow since prehistoric and Roman times.

However, the saint set up a settlement right in the middle of Glasgow which eventually turned into a trading and bishopric centre for the city. In short, St. Mungo did contribute to the historical establishment of this Scottish city.

Related topics