This museum was started in 1944 when Sir William Burrell and his wife donated a collection of over 9,000 works of art to Glasgow. Over his lifetime, William Burrell had amassed one of the world’s greatest collections of art. Starting in his teens, he gathered together works from all periods and from all over the world.
His diverse interests are clearly reflected in the collection. There are paintings by European modern masters like Cézanne or Degas alongside sculptures by Rodin or Epstein and collections of medieval art and tapestries. But the collection also includes objects from all over the world, including Islamic art and works from China, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
The building was designed to incorporate features of the collection into its structure and features reconstructions of rooms from Sir William Burrell’s house, furnished in Gothic style.
Burrell’s gift to the city of Glasgow was a generous one but the current building that houses it only came about from another act of generosity, when Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald and her family gifted Pollok House and 360 acres of Pollok Estate to the City of Glasgow in 1967.
After an architectural competition, The Burrell was purpose built and opened in 1983. Designed in harmony with its wooded surroundings, the structure was designed to be as interesting as the objects within it.
This is Glasgow’s most ancient tourist site. Situated in Victoria Park in the west of the city, Fossil Grove is the fossilised remains of an forest that existed around 330 million years ago.
The stumps were discovered in 1887 when an old quarry was being landscaped during the creation of the park. Careful excavation uncovered the fossils and then a building was designed to protect them. Visitors are now able to see a 11 fossil tree stumps, preserved in the position in which they once grew. There is also an eight metre long trunk and small sections of branch and roots, which are the remains of a giant clubmoss, a long-extinct plant species.
This country house is crammed full of Spanish art, which was collected by Sir William Stirling Maxwell (1818-1878). He was an authority on the art and history of Spain, publishing one of the first English language reference works on the subject.
The collections includes works by celebrated artists like El Greco, including Lady in a Fur Wrap, and Goya, as well as works by the William Blake. His other interests, which ranged from printmaking to armor, are also reflected in the collection.
Pollok House was given to Glasgow in 1966 by Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald, along with a huge parcel of land that now holds the Burrell Collection, which is about ten minutes walk away. There is a shuttle bus that runs between the two.
The house’s gardens are also stunning, with a collection of over 1,000 species of rhododendrons, and the White Cart river running through.
This house is the only dwelling that has survived from the medieval city and has been carefully restored to give a sense of the past.
The house was originally built in 1471 as part of St Nicholas’ Hospital by Andrew Muirhead, Bishop of Glasgow. His coat of arms can still be seen on the building. It later became the home to a canon from the cathedral, who was known as the ‘Lord of the Prebend of Balernock’, later corrupted to ‘Lord of Provan’, from which the house takes its name.
All the other houses that used to surround the cathedral had been demolished by the beginning of the twentieth century
The building was given to the City of Glasgow District Council by the Provand’s Lordship Society in 1978. It was then furnished by some of Sir William Burrell’s collection, which gives a good impression of what a domestic interior from 1700 would have looked like.
This museum explores the importance of religion in people’s lives, both close to home and from around the world. Its most famous exhibit has been Salvador Dali's The Christ of St John of the Cross, but there are plenty of interesting objects in its collection.
St Mungo’s is one of the only museums in the world that is solely devoted to religion. It includes exhibits based on all six major world religions, which are Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
Look out for the stunning statue of Hindu god Shiva, Lord of the Dance.