“A fantastic way to travel back in time”. That’s how one visitor recently described this superb medieval cathedral. Just 10 minutes walk from the city centre, it’s the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the 1560 Reformation almost entirely intact.
This magnificent example of Scottish Gothic architecture was built between the 13th & 15th Centuries and is widely regarded as the high point of cathedral building in Europe. But no description of the cathedral would be complete without mentioning its inextricable link with the city’s patron saint & founder, St. Mungo, whose church was built on this site and who was buried here in 612 AD. Mungo was the first bishop within the ancient British kingdom of Strathclyde. His diocese was vast, reaching from Loch Lomond in the north, to Cumbria in the south, and his shrine here was a great centre of Christian pilgrimage until the Scottish Reformation.
The crypt within the Cathedral was constructed in the mid-1200s to house the tomb of St Kentigern.
Wander around the cathedral and you’ll see many connections down the ages, from the ancient trades on which the city built her fortune, to the military and the law.
Other connections run through the cathedral’s history: one of Scotland’s most famous literary sons, Sir Walter Scott, refers to the kirk (Scottish for church) in his novel, Rob Roy. And no visitor should leave without gazing up at the breathtaking white ceiling in the Blackadder Aisle which was built around 1500 by Archbishop Blackadder - no relation to a certain famous TV character!
Try their audio guide and be transported through the history of the cathedral through pieces of music. Created with a music historian and performed by the Glasgow Cathedral Choir and the Binchois Consort, enjoy plainchants to hymns that are sung today. There are a range of special interest Glasgow Cathedral tours, including bring up the bodies (a walk through the old burial ground around the Cathedral), military memorial and stained glass.
If you have time, pop next door to the award-winning St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art, named after the patron saint. It’s a haven of tranquillity in the bustling city. Or take a walk through the neighbouring Glasgow Necropolis, one of the most significant cemetaries in Europe and an exceptional display of Victorian Glasgow.
There is a Service of Choral Evensong held in the Nave each Sunday to which visitors are welcome to attend. Please visit here for more info on service times and seasonal opening times.