Exploring Glasgow's University District
If there's one thing university students love, it's coffee and brunch. So, one a chilly morning upon our arrival in Glasgow, we headed out to the University District to eat and explore.
Sarah took us through the beautiful Kelvingrove Park which was brimming with life even early in the morning. We headed down the West End to eat at one of Sarah's favourite Brunch spots, Stravaigin.
Stravaigin was a wonderful, hodgepodge of antiques, vintage furniture and Glaswegian knick-knacks.
The menu at Stravaigin is both infused with world flavours and traditional Scottish dishes. We ordered a full Scottish Breakfast and a breakfast bao! And of course, no breakfast would be complete without a cup of tea.
After brunch, we wandered along Gibbson Road, up to the Glasgwegian University campus. The Hunterian museum was closed, but we walked around the main building, through the hallways and by classrooms. The university was built in the mid-fifteenth century making it the second oldest university in Scotland. The buildings were designed in the Gothic Revival style by architect George Gilbert Scott. The buildings are replete with decorative elements, pitched roofs, traceried windows, castle-like towers and parapets. It was more like walking through a castle than walking through a school.
Even in the University, we found insignias with St. Mungo's crest. It was a fun little game to play trying to find these symbols all over the city.
Since the Hunterian was closed, we headed over to the University Memorial Chapel. When we heard the name Chapel, you think of something small, but walking int these doors, nothing about this place felt small.
The chapel was consecrated in 1929 and is dedicated to the former students and staff who died in WWI. One of the most striking things in the chapel is the stained glass windows. They simply glowed in the dark of the wood that covered the rest of the building. The Benedicite Window was designed by Lawrence Lee and installed in 1962, and the other series of ten windows were designed by Douglas Strachan in 1931.
The Benedicite Window stands above the statue of St. Mungo. The window represents the song of creation and thanksgiving. The window echoes down to the viewer the theme of the Chapel itself. Knowledge comes from God and knowledge will also lead man back to God.
I've always loved the choir section of the church. These wooden stalls seats were meticulously carved by Archibald Dawson and his Italian woodcarvers. Some say that these choir stalls are some of his best work of his career. In these seats, the chapel choir sings at services and concerts, and one can only imagine the song they make when they open their mouths.
We wandered through the courtyard and saw students studying under the trees and other tourists looking to get away from the crowds.
Standing here, looking at the pointed steeples and ashy stones, I wish I could have gone to a university like this. It did feel like something out of Harry Potter. Magic around every corner. The Hunterian Museum was closed, but that didn't stop us from poking around the premises. It is one of the most striking interiors.
Even the stairway, with their delicate wrought iron Art Nouveau designs, is so striking. When walked around the locked rooms and heard music coming from the back. There was a little performance going on in a classroom where musicians were performing some of the most lovely Opera music. We stood there and listened quietly, with smiles on our faces.
The Cloisters under Bute Hall are one of the most iconic places in the University and a beautiful place to walk on a sunny day.
But my favourite part of the building was the entryway and staircase inside the George Gilbert Scott Law Building. The Aegean blue of the walls was dotted with gold geometric leaves. A red, blue and gold carpet lined the staircase and the floor leading into the room. It was s upside since we didn't even know it was in here but once you walked in the door it was like finding a shining star hidden in the sky.
There is that crest to St. Mungo! If you're going to Glasgow, knowing the story of St. Mungo's life is really important as he really did leave a mark all over the city!
At the back of the university, there is a stunning view of the rest of the West end of the city. From here we could see the brilliant crimson of the Kelvingrove Museum off in the distance against the emerald green of the trees. Glasgow is Gaelic for "Dear Green Place" and that name has never rung so true as it did in that very moment.