Places to Visit in Scotland
- Clyde Maritime Centre, Glasgow
This is attraction opened to the public for the first time in 1999. The centre-piece is the sailing vessel "Glenlee" which was originally launched on the Clyde in 1896. The ship was used around the world as a cargo vessel, carrying tea, cocoa, cinnamon and spices from the Far East. For a spell, the ship, with its 21 sails reaching 300 feet high, was part of the Spanish navy as the "Galatea" and was used as a national training ship. Latterly the ship was rotting away but was bought by the Clyde Maritime Trust> and brought to Glasgow where it has been lovingly restored over a period of six years.
Berthed at Yorkhill Quay, near the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, the Glenlee is an impressive sight, even without the sails unfurled. The figurehead on the Glenlee's bow is actually a replica - when the ship was being sold the Spaniards said that they would hand over the original only when Gibraltar was handed back to Spain! Inside, the massive cargo holds are also amazing and some of the accommodation can be used as a function suite.
The ship is a popular attraction for school visits and interactive displays are being installed at various points. There are always helpful "crew" around to answer questions too. There is a visitor centre on the dockside with a small museum display. This is in a "Pumphouse" which was built in 1877 to provide hydraulic power for the Queen's Dock in the days when ships from every corner of the world called in at Glasgow's riverside. There is a cafe as well, with fine views down the river. When the new Glasgow Science Centre is completed on the other side of the river it will be a wonderful contrast.
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