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Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Heroes of Victorian Glasgow
The buildings of CRM (Charles Rennie Mackintosh should be a reason alone to visit Glasgow. He's the most famous of the Art Neuvo Architects in Britain if not Europe and all his buildings are here. The most famous is probably the School of Art (photos at bottom) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Rennie_Mackintosh but he also did some quite natty villas around the turn of the century onwards, when Elgar was turning out his melancholy tunes, and until George Orwell tried to make us all top ourselves with his depressing books.
The citys architectural heritage was largely already there by then, and avoided bombing by the huns in the war, so more than any other uk city, Glasgows Victorian splendour survives - pretty good to walk round, even on a freezing day like today. Sandstone even looks good in the rain ;o)
I'd like to add, (since i dont think ive offended wishy washy liberals for quite a few posts) that, as with all things of beauty, the great buildings, free art galleries, and institutions of Victorian Glasgow were built with money from good old fashioned trade and free market capitalism (including slavery, every cloud has a silver lining!) - the industrial revolution was kick started here by one Glasgow uni academic, Adam Smith ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith ) and helped along after that by local boy James Watt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Watt ) ;o)
This time begun by the 'Scottish Enlightment' ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Enlightenment ) soon after the reverse takeover of England, was possibly Scotlands finest moment (until i become prime minister!) At this time we really shook the world, to the extent that Voltaire said "We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation" - and i thought Frenchmen only ever complimented women (so they can sleep with them)
If you prefer your art funded by the great works of Socialism, check those great art galleries and beautiful buildings of North Korea. Or Lasnamaa (ok for foreigners, its the soviet part of Tallinn) Or check how the previous beauty of Havana has crumbled. well we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, just dont vote for people who dont understand business or youll end up bankrupt like the UK
Now im off, home to Tallinn for at least a week! i hope Anna has some nice food for dinner, and the sauna is on.