This Gothic cathedral marks the birthplace of the city of Glasgow and is Scotland's finest medieval church, with majestic stained-glass windows.
Visit Glasgow Cathedral to see one of Scotland’s most revered Gothic buildings and impressive stained-glass windows. See remnants of Scotland’s medieval history and learn tales about long-lost heroes.
Glasgow Cathedral is the pride of the city. The current structure was built from the 12th century onwards and is the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland that survived the Protestant Reformation in 1560. Legend has it that St. Kentigern, or Mungo, was buried at the site in the early seventh century. He was the first bishop of Strathclyde, an ancient British kingdom, and is the patron saint of Glasgow.
Check out the crypt, which is said to contain the tomb of St. Kentigern. Here, you’ll also find a sculpture of Bishop Wishart who supported the legendary William Wallace and Robert Bruce. These heroic Guardians of Scotland lead the 30-year war of independence against the English.
Church enthusiasts will enjoy a free guided tour through the arcades and vaulted aisles. Volunteers educate visitors about the building and its history. They will point out The Millennium Window, the cathedral’s most recent stained-glass window. Unveiled in 1999 to reflect the past thousand years, the window’s scene represents growth and includes extracts from the Bible.
If you explore the cathedral on your own, don’t miss small details such as the carved bosses. Find these wooden ceiling decorations in the Blackadder Aisle, named after a 15th-century archbishop. Visit on Sunday late afternoon for the public choral evensong.
Stroll through the Glasgow Necropolis behind the cathedral to see tombs of notable Glaswegians in this Victorian-era cemetery.
Glasgow Cathedral is open daily and entry is free. A religious service takes place on Sunday mornings. The building is within walking distance of central George Square and can also be reached by bus, train and car. There is metered on-street parking nearby. Note that the guided tours are less frequent in winter, but you can always pick up a guide book or pamphlets at the entrance to study the architecture and historic value in more detail.