21 June 2012

Glasgow...a sense of Deja Vu

I took the free tour today in Glasgow. First off, having in my previous post said that they always wear red shirts, I must report that my tour guide wore a black rain jacket. Having had such a wonderful guide yesterday, the one today was a bit disappointing. He just wasn't as engaging, and let's face it, the fact that it was 50 degrees and raining might not have helped either! But I did want to share some interesting things I learned.
Glasgow has a square called George Square. Named after King George. But the Glaswegians don't like King George, so there is no statue of him there - instead there is a very prominent statue of Sir Walter Scott, who was born on George Square in Edinburgh.

So why do they dislike King George so much? Easy,they blame him for their loss of income in tobacco from the Colony of Virginia. Yes that's right, King George sent over the British Navy to fight those colonial rebels who wanted independence. And the monarchy lost.

On one side of the square there is a huge building (sorry I didn't catch the name) but there are three interesting things to mention about it...
1. It has more Italian marble than the Vatican.
2. The ancient symbol of peace, the Swastika, is on the doors (this building is pre-1939)
3. It has the Statue of Truth at the top, who many confuse with Liberty.

Speaking of truth, I learned that if one goes on trial in Scotland, three verdicts are possible:
A. Guilty
B. Not Guilty
C. Not Proven (aka they know you are guilty, but can't prove it!

And then back to Mortsafes, which I describe in my post about Edinburgh... Our tour guide told of yet one more option - a Mocksafe. This is an iron coffin that would be set a top a grave for 3 weeks - same reason.. Basically it was rented.

Oh and you may notice that some of the Mortsafe above is missing, modern day thieves are stealing the metal.
Speaking of grave robbing....a medical school person (student? Employee?) was tried for body snatching and found not proven - but no one would hire him, so he went to Washington DC and opened the first medical teaching college. 250 years later corpses, that could be traced to Scotland were found under the floorboards of the building in DC where his school was opened.

Moving on to churches and cathedrals - in Glasgow many such churches are no longer used as churches. The church: St. Andrews in the Square is a carbon copy of St. Martins in Trafalgar Square (London). But it became a bit dilapidated, so the city sold it to a charity for £1. The charity cleaned it up and found that underneath paint and dirt was gold plating. It is still used by the charity.

Speaking of gold, all the clocks in the city (on towers and such) have blue and gold faces. This shows wealth, because these were the most expensive paint colors.

Lastly I will leave you with the founding of Glasgow. It was founded by St. Mungo. He came upon this place and said the Gaelic word that means "pretty green", and this word evolved to the modern name: Glasgow.

I will post one more post about Glasgow - but it won't be pretty. Coming tomorrow.....
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Glasgow, Scotland

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