Unlike England, which is divided up into counties, Scotland’s local government divisions were, up until 1996, regions and districts. Nowadays, the country is split into 32 unitary authority areas, of which Glasgow is one. The city is situated on the banks of the River Clyde in the west central lowlands of Scotland and has undergone immense change during recent decades, becoming a significant city of culture and shopping. With the Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Center, as well as the up-market Princes Square and the Italian Center, both of which specialize in designer labels, Glasgow is considered to be the largest and most economically important retail sector after Central London.
One of the things, or rather the people, for which the city of Glasgow is particularly famous is Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Known all over the world for his architecture and designs in the Arts and Crafts movement, Mackintosh was the main exponent of Art Nouveau in the United Kingdom. Visitors to the city can see some fine examples of his work, such as the Glasgow School of Art, the Willow Tearooms, the Scotland Street School and the Queen’s Cross Church. At the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, The Mackintosh House is a reconstruction of the interior of the home of Mackintosh and his wife, which originally stood only 100 meters away. The Hunterian also houses the Mackintosh Collection, which comprises more than 800 designs, drawings and watercolors, as well as a small collection of personal memorabilia. Visitors will be treated to displays of the works of Salvador Dali, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Whistler, Monet and Botticelli, in addition to unique collections of arms and armor and Ancient Egyptian artifacts.