Glasgow's history has been shaped by Battles, World Wide Trade and Heavy Industry to become the burgeoning city it is now. With a heritage that stretches for two thousand years, it truly is an international city.
Situated in the country's west, Glasgow was well-positioned for shipping to the West Indies and America. By the 18th century, many merchants had acquired great wealth by importing sugar, rum and tobacco from these regions. Many of these enriched merchants built fabulous mansions in the city, making it renowned for its architecture.
In the 19th century, the influx of people looking for employment spawned the emergence of tenement accommodation. The poorest families were forced to live in 'single-ended' homes with only one room that the entire family had to share. However, the struggle for survival over the years generated a common bond and kinship between the tenement dwellers. A great sense of community spirit, kindness and sharing dominated everyday life. Also, vast coal and iron ore deposits in the Glasgow area shaped the last few centuries of Glasgow's history. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, aided by technological advances designed by Clydeside inventors such as James Watt, heavy industry in the shape of Railway Locomotives and Shipbuilding flourished. Historical view of The Clyde Locomotives was exported throughout the world.
"Clyde-Built" became synonymous with quality and reliability. The launch of the three "Queens" luxury passenger liners was the pinnacle of Glasgow's shipbuilding achievement. Unfortunately, the changing patterns and demands of industry meant that Clyde employed fewer people in the shipbuilding trades. But even now, the proud "Clyde-Built" traditions are still visible amongst the workforces of BAE Systems (Govan) and BAE Systems (Scotstoun). 1990 saw the city selected as the European City of Culture, and in 1999 Glasgow hosted the Festival of Architecture and Design. In the present day, the city invites tourists worldwide to learn about and relive some of Glasgow's rich history.