Why I love the Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow cathedral

It’s no secret that Europe is full of historic churches and cathedrals. Since moving to Europe in the fall, I’ve explored my fair share of cathedrals. However the Glasgow Cathedral is the one that had me stunned. It’s the one that had me going “wow!!” What can I say … I’m stunned by old, gothic arcitecture.

The history of the cathedral

The cathedral was first stone built in the year 1136 while King David I was in power. The current structure that is standing today was constructed in the year 1197. It’s so cool to explore buildings that existed so long ago! It’s truly amazing.

The cathedral played an important role in the Battles of Glasgow in 1544 and 1560. The University of Glasgow originally held classes in the precinct of the cathedral. Now the University is located on literally the exact opposite side of town.

From the outside

From the outside, I was honestly not expecting much. It is made of old stone, but so is the rest of Scotland, basically.

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Inside the Glasgow Cathedral

I went to Glasgow in the harsh, cold weather in late December. Now I’m accustomed to the cold being from the Midwest of the United States. It’s really not so bad as long as you wear the right clothing. When traveling in the cold, I find myself looking for indoor spaces to explore such as museums. The Glasgow Cathedral is not heated but still a nice place to escape the cold from. It was after all built during a time without indoor heating.

Upon entering, there’s a nice little gift shop. I bought myself a magnet there. I love collecting magnets from the places that I travel to. Then you walk through the upper area of the cathedral.

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Where they have mass

Everything inside this cathedral was just beautiful. I loved the stained glass and the altar. You just feel like you’re in a fairy tale walking around.

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Because of when it was built, this church is the only Medieval church in Scotland, according to Wikipedia. Today it does not technically have a Catholic congregation, but it is still considered a cathedral because of it’s Catholic roots.

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Why I love it

I could have easily spent hours wandering through the cathedral. As someone who grew up Catholic, I’ve seen my fair share of altars and stained glass windows. I’ve been in other cathedrals where if I’m being honest, I’ve felt rather meh. But the minute I walked in the Glasgow Cathedral, I was amazed.

I think it has something to do with being a part of history … and imagining myself in Harry Potter.

Do you like visiting cathedrals when you travel? What are some of your favorite ones?


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  1. Stunning! It’s absolutely stunning. All of the ornate details .. the stained glass .. how clean it was. I’m going to have to put this on our list of places to visit. Thank-you so much for sharing it with us

  2. Your are right, The Cathedral is beautiful from the outside, but it does not begin to display the visuals that are waiting on the inside. I love the stained glass windows, columns, everything.

    1. Yeah I’m only ever so slightly Catholic as in I grew up Catholic but that is about it. But I do just love old arcitecture in general.

  3. I grew up Catholic too so I understand how amazing it is to see such a church. I could only imagine the intricate detail in addition to the stained glass windows. I have never thought to do a church tour before. Churches hold their own beauty and I should go explore them.

  4. It’s beautiful and that’s an understatement. I think it’s one of the most lovely Cathedrals one will ever see. It’s definitely a must see especially if you’re in the area.

  5. I absolutely love visiting Cathedrals when I travel, partly because of the history. Thank you for taking us through your story and photos of this beautiful Glasgow Cathedral.

  6. I love searching for the small totally unique elements in catherdrals! Those murals are gorgeous! I’ve been here too, but it’s been YEARS

  7. Oh wow, it’s so gorgeous. I’m not religious, but I always love to explore old churches.

  8. In love with beautiful architecture. This cathedral just epitomises everything that is beautiful with taking a trip back in time. Thank you Nina.

  9. Glasgow Cathedral is on my bucket list. I love its architecture and walking on its alleys and admiring its architecture would be a real treat to my eyes!

  10. every cathedral i know or have been too has one thing or the other i like so much that fascinates me, this one is so beautiful and has this usual ancient but traditional look that gives that very christian feel whenever you get the chance to be there. am a catholic and i sure know how blessed and awesome it feels to be in one. lovely pictures you have here too.

  11. The windows are amazing! I’ve been in many cathedrals too but this one looks particularly impressive. I’ll definitely have to visit the next time I’m in Glasgow.

  12. Glasgow cathedral reminds me of Westminster Abbey. The gothic arches and the nave and the stained glass windows are all so similar. The exterior is pretty impressive too.

    1. I’ve been to Westminster Abbey but many years ago. I can totally see where you’d draw those two connections!

  13. I am not religious but aren’t Cathedrals brilliant to look at. I was lucky enough to see a couple of beauties in Vietnam recently and they both left me speechless. Although this one in Glasgow tops the lot judging by your pics.

  14. Whenever I visit a place that is really old I try to imagine the people visiting it during those years it was built and brand new. It’s also cool to think how many people from different eras have stepped on those same spots as you are walking. The Cathedral looks beautiful!

  15. It’s great to read about a city other than Edinburgh in Scotland. The cathedral is an impressive structure. I actually prefer to travel when it’s cold after living in Bangkok 8 years I now appreciate the cold weather, it’s often cheaper to travel around this time too.

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