Aberdeen

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Aberdeen is port city on the east coast of Scotland, 123 miles north of Edinburgh, 66 miles north of Dundee.

The main attractions in the City are Union Street with its grand Granite buildings, Union Terrace Gardens, Provost Skene House Museum, Marischal College, Tolbooth Museum, Castlegate Square, Maritime Museum, Harbour Boat Tours, Beach with fun park, and in the old town 2 miles north - St Machar Cathedral, and Kings College with a Chapel, two Museums and Botanic Gardens.

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The image top is looking down Union Street towards the Tolbooth and Castlegate Square. Union Terrace Gardens opened in 1879 are next to Union Street with statues of Robert Burns and William Wallace.

The Kirk of St Nicholas is also next to Union Street, with the earliest parts of the Church being from 1157.

Castlegate is a Square at the east end of Union Street with the Market Cross from 1686. The Square was laid out after the old Castle Gates were destroyed in 1308. A Gordon Highlanders Statue was unveiled in the Square in 2011 by Prince Charles. This was the site of their original barracks in the 1700s.

Early Buildings in this area are of a brown sand stone. Most of the Granite buildings on and around Union Street now were built from the 1830s. Some of the earliest Granite buildings are Marischal College 1830s, Townhouse 1870s, His Majesty's Theatre 1903, and Queen Street Church 1903.

The Townhouse was built around the old Tolbooth. You have to look carefully to see the Tolbooth. It is the brown sandstone building with the round spire on top. Large Image. The Tolbooth was built in the 1600s to served as a prison and opened as the Tolbooth Museum in 1991.

Marischal College is situated just round the corner from the Townhouse on Broad Street. The College was founded in 1593. That building was replaced by this huge Granite building built between 1835 and 1906. This is claimed to be the second largest Granite building in the world. The largest is the El Escorial Monastery in Spain. Much of the building is now used as offices for Aberdeen Council. There is a Museum at the College but has been closed while restoration work is carried out.

Provost Skene House is situated by Marischal College. This is a house built in 1545 that now serves as a period museum.

The Maritime Museum is situated by the Harbour, a short walk downhill from Union Street. The Museum covers early shipbuilding at Aberdeen and the North Sea Oil Industry.

Aberdeen Harbour is now mainly used by North Sea Oil Ships and Northlink Ferries to the Orkney and Shetland Isles. Security fences now prevent you from strolling around the harbour to view the fishing vessels. Boat Tours can be taken around the harbour, or up the coast to view Dolphin, Seals and more.

A walk along the north side of the harbour takes you through the Old Fishing Village of Footdee or Fittie. There was a fishing village hear from the 1300s, probably even earlier. The interesting little village seen today was laid out in 1809.

Aberdeen Beach is situated just past Fittie, about a two mile walk from Union Street via Fittie, about 1 mile walking direct. The beach is popular for Bathing in warm spells and Surfing at others. The Beach area has a Cinema and Restaurants at Queens Links, and many rides, activities and diners at Codona's Amusement Park.

About 2 miles north of Union Street is Old Aberdeen with St Machar Cathedral. This cathedral was completed in the 1450s on the site of two earlier churches. Old Aberdeen was a separate town from Aberdeen until they merged in 1891.

Kings College, part of Aberdeen University, is also situated in Old Aberdeen, half of a mile south of St Machars Cathedral, down the old cobbled High Street. The College was founded in 1495 with the Chapel being the most interesting section. The University has 2 Museums and Botanic Gardens from 1898 that can be visited.

Aberdeen History

Aberdeen began as two towns, Old Aberdeen to the moth at the mouth of the River Don, and Aberdeen 2 miles south at the mouth of the River Dee. Both no doubt growing around farming and fishing.

1136 - the earliest record of Aberdeen was when King David I of Scotland granted the Bishops of Aberdeen the right to charge ships using the harbour.

1308 - Aberdeen Castle was captured by the English during First War of Scottish Independence. Forces of the Scots King Robert the Bruce destroyed the Castle.

Aberdeen Castle was situated where Castlegate Square is today, centre of Aberdeen.

1450s - St Machars Cathedral was built in Old Aberdeen.

1495 - Kings College was founded in Old Aberdeen.

1593 - Marischal College was founded in Aberdeen.

1629 - the Tolbooth was built in Aberdeen next to Castlegate Square. The Tolbooth was used as a prison.

1644 - the Battle of Aberdeen took place during the wars Wars of the Three Kingdoms. These wars were over many Scots opposing King Charles I attempts to control Scottish Churches. Aberdeen rebels, known as Covenanters, were defeated in the Battle with the Kings forces taking control of Aberdeen.

1647 - the bubonic plague killed about a quarter of the population.

1811 - shipbuilding in Aberdeen becomes a major industry.

1830s on - many of the older buildings in Aberdeen centre were replaced by large Granite buildings.

1881 - Aberdeen Football Club was formed.

1891 - Aberdeen and Old Aberdeen merged.

1960s - Aberdeen is a major fishing city with its huge harbour often crammed with fishing boats.

1970 - Oil was discovered in the North Sea out from Aberdeen. This led to the harbour being used for many large ships used in the Oil Industry.

1990s? - the huge fish market at Aberdeen was demolished with Peterhead 31 miles north becoming the main fishing port in the northeast.

1992 - the Last shipbuilders in Aberdeen closed.

1992 - Aberdeen Ice Hockey Club was formed. They now play as Aberdeen Lynx.

2002 - large ferries begin running between Aberdeen and the Orkney Isles and Shetland Isles.

2018 - the areas first Offshore Windfarm was completed 2 miles out from Aberdeen.

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