Photos and the City

destination photography & travel

 

I think it was around half past 6, I was already pretty exhausted (and a little bit wet, which I didn´t mind after the heatwave back in Vienna) but still, there was the one „thing“ I didn´t want to miss – the Victorian cemetery Necropolis, up on a hill next to the Cathedral of Glasgow.

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In 1650 the Merchants’ House bought the land, part of the estate of Wester Craigs, now known as the Glasgow Necropolis. As the west side was rocky and not able to be developed it was subsequently planted with fir trees and became known as Fir Park. However, in 1804, the Scots Firs in the park started to die and were replaced by mainly elm and willow and the area became a Victorian park and arboretum. In 1825 the foundation stone of the John Knox monument was laid in Fir Park. (Friends of Necropolis)

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In 1831 the idea of transforming Fir Park into a Père Lachaise kind of cemetery was set into action by advertising a competition for the conversion in the newspapers. David Bryce of Edinburgh and his brother John Bryce of Glasgow won the first and second price, but the actual work was done by the landscape gardener George Mylne.

So far the parish church had been responsible for burying the dead but with fewer people attending church, alternatives were needed. The laws were changed and „burial for profit“ allowed. The Cemeteries Act was passed in 1832 and Necropolis officially opened in 1833.

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This burial ground was always intended to be interdenominational and the first burial in 1832 was that of a Jew, Joseph Levi, a jeweller. In 1833 the first Christian burial was of Elizabeth Miles, stepmother of the Superintendent, George Mylne. After 1860, the first extensions east and south were to take up the Ladywell quarry and in 1877 and 1892/3, the final extensions to the north and south-east were constructed, doubling the size of the cemetery. (Friends of Necropolis)

Over the years 50.000 burials have taken place and 3500 tombs have been built.

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Even on such a dreary day, it was lovely to walk around Necropolis, even if you don´t have that soft spot for beautiful cemeteries like I have.  The view towards the city and cathedral isn´t too bad either.

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Necropolis is laid out like an informal park, the path slowly goes uphill to the summit where the (predated) John Knox monument is surrounded by larger monuments.

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Some of the first things I noticed about Glasgow were all those bridges, some in use some others not anymore, beautiful abandoned buildings waiting to be woken up again and a lot of stunning murals all over the city.

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After a short stop at my Airbnb room to get some rest, it was about time for the next tearoom. Still raining and tea is always a good idea. The Willow Tea Rooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street opened in 1903 and are currently under renovations to be opened again in 2018. Just before the turn of the century Kate Cranston, a local businesswoman and daughter of a tea merchant, had the idea

of a series of „art tearooms“, venues where people could meet to relax and enjoy non-alcoholic refreshments in a variety of different „rooms“ within the same building. This proved to be the start of a long working relationship between Miss Cranston and Mackintosh [architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh]. Between 1896 and 1917 he designed and re-styled interiors in all four of her Glasgow tearooms, often in collaboration with his wife Margaret MacDonald. (The Willow Tearooms)

I had my afternoon tea at the tea rooms at Buchanan Street, which were first built and designed in 1896 by George Washington Browne, Mackintosh designed the murals on the interior.Mackintosh’s trademark high-backed chairs made their first appearance at the existing rooms at  Argyle Street in 1898.

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Named after King George III George Square is the principal civic square in Glasgow. Surrounded by beautiful (and probably important) buildings you´ll find the City Chambers on one side. They are supposed to be stunning inside but were already closed when I walked by.

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glasgow, scotland, uk, rain, travelThe McLennan Arch

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Back at the River Clyde I had walked about 18km around town at this point and decided that The Riverside Museum designed by Zaha Hadid had to wait for my next visit to Glasgow – I was done for the day!

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Later in the evening, the sky cleared up – view from my Airbnb room.