Second City Tour

From Central Station to City Chambers and then to the Necropolis.

This walk takes approximately 1¾ hours.

This walk will examine some of the best examples of Victorian and Edwardian commercial architecture in the city. Glasgow flourished, prospered and expanded in the 19th century, by the end of which it was often referred to as the “Second City” of the British Empire. Glasgow’s wealth and ambition was expressed in the magnificence of its City Chambers but also in its commercial buildings, many of which were opulent Classical designs inspired by Italian Renaissance models.

Glasgow also encouraged the talent of one highly original designer, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, who applied his radical interpretation of Greek precedents to new building types like the commercial warehouse and was arguably Scotland’s greatest Victorian architect. Victorian Glasgow was further remarkable for the number of commercial buildings partly or wholly constructed of cast-iron, the most interesting of which date from the 1850s.

The great American historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock described them as “among the most successful Victorian commercial edifices to be found on either side of the Atlantic”.

Opening hours are provided for those buildings that are open to the public. These were correct at the time of writing, but you are recommended to check current times to avoid disappointment.

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