Next to Glasgow and Edinburgh, the third largest city in Scotland is Aberdeen which is situated in the county of Aberdeenshire. Popularly known as the ‘Oil Capital of Europe’ for its supply of crude oil from the North Sea it deserves the status Offshore Capital of Europe and thus becomes the main seaport in the north-east of Scotland. The name Aberdeen is derived from Scottish Gaelic: ‘Obar Dheathain’.
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The Master Design of Aberdeen
Most parts of Aberdeen were designed by the native architect, Archibald Simpson using the locally found granite material. He was a master architect and brought out his plans in never before used architectural techniques. And thus the city is termed as “The Granite City” following the architectural style of the great architect, Archibald Simpson. The beauty of the grey material used by the architect can be clearly seen in major buildings and important places like the parks, gardens and so on.
Statistics of Aberdeen
Normally, the average overall temperature is recorded as 7.9 degree Celsius and rainfall is 710 mm per year in Aberdeen. The North Sea is responsible for major climate changes that occur in the city. Aberdeen is located on a bay of the North Sea, between the mouths of the rivers Don and Dee, 120 miles northeast of Edinburgh – which extends to 71.22sqm2 and includes the former burghs of Old Aberdeen, New Aberdeen and Woodside.
The district of Torry is located in the south of the Dee. The original settlement, often referred to as Aberdon, lay at the northern end of today’s Aberdeen, on the south bank of the River Don. The city has a total population of about 220,000 in which the ethnic groups include English 81.5%, Scottish 9.6%, Irish 2.4%, Welsh 1.9%, Ulster 1.8%, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other 2.8%.
History of Aberdeen
The new city of Aberdeen was founded by David I in 1136. It was built to the north of River Dee on top of an existing remains of an older settlement. The city developed soon and became the largest city in Scotland after Edinburgh in 1639. Though the growth of the city was rapid it had its bad time too when it fell under two major fire accidents during 1200 which destroyed the major part of the city.
Around 1300 the city became an important wool exporting port and had established steady trading links with Germany and the Baltic. The development of the city was mainly because of the wool export and slowly because of it famous shipyards were built and thousands of people from various corners of the world came to the city and filled it with glory and riches. Thus Aberdeen became a popular place. And many changes took place as for example through the Industrial Revolution, sail boats gave way to steam and the boatyards of Aberdeen adapted to the change. Slowly, institutions started to emerge and education began to flourish and as a result many university buildings were built in Europe such as the King’s College in the year 1495 and many in number following it.
Great improvements were taking place during the 19th century and there was a large expansion in the population reaching 153,000. Important harbours like Victoria Dock, the South Breakwater and the extension to the North Pier were constructed and can still be seen. The city was fully supplied excellent street light facility in the year 1824 and easy water facility was created by pumping water from the Dee to a reservoir in Union Place. With all these history behind, Aberdeen now glitters as a modern city with marvelous granite buildings, gardens and parks, top educational institutions and the same old all time busy harbour.
Transport Facility in Aberdeen
About 7 miles from the city centre in Dyce is the Aberdeen International Airport which offers ample service of domestic and international flights such as British Airways, BMI and Easyjet. Next to the Harbor and Bus Station is the Aberdeen Station that connects major places of the city starting from South via Perth and North to Elgin.
Places to visit in Aberdeen
Aberdeen Art Gallery
The Aberdeen Art Gallery was opened in the year 1885 which displays various collections of brilliant art works starting from Modern Art to extraordinary paintings by the Impressionists and the Scottish Colorists. And other things that include are some contemporary craft and decorative art. The gallery is an excellent place for people who are interested in art forms.
Provost Ross House
Built in 1593, the Provost Ross’ House located in Aberdeen is the rebuilt and redeveloped landmark that houses the Aberdeen Maritime Museum. It was built by Andrew Jamieson.
James Dun’s House
This beautiful house dates back to 1769 which was the residence of James Dun, the rector of the Old Grammar School. Now it is a museum for temporary exhibitions.
Aden’s Country Park
With almost 230 acres of surrounding, the Aden’s Country Park situated on the Buchan Estate is a remarkable site for the tourists. It dates back to 18th century and still remains an attracting place offering beautiful woodland trails and bridleways, splendid lawns, the ruins of a great mansion, a garden and many more.
King’s College Conference Centre
It is located in the former University Library, adjacent to King’s College Chapel, in Old Aberdeen. The fine east window in the auditorium and the barrel vaulted ceiling which have been carefully preserved are the unique features of the conference centre.
Provost Skene’s House
Built around 1545 in Aberdeen, the Provost Skene’s House is a fine example of early burgh design. It consists of a superb paint gallery, the costume gallery and also the cellar that provides light eatables. The house displays rare religious paintings, and a vast collection of coins from the ancient times and also some archaeological gathering.
This grand castle was built by the Earl of Mar in 1628 and later on was used by Hanovarian troops after the Jacobite Rising in 1745. The Farquharsons of Invercauld who later occupied the castle made it their residence.
The Doonies Farm located in Aberdeen holds the largest collection of rare and endangered breeds of farm animals in Scotland. There are of about twenty three rare breeds of animals preserved and some of them include horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and poultry.
The Northeast Falconry Visitor Center
It is a place for seeing flying demonstrations of birds including falcons, owls and eagles. It is located in a beautiful area and is an awesome sight for the visitors. The centre also includes a lovely cafe and a gift shop.
Marischal College Aberdeen
The Marischal College Aberdeen is actually a venue for theatre and premier arts performance. Every year it conducts a incredible Traditional music festival called ‘Rootin’ Aboot’ to which many people gather and enjoy the entertainment and also feel comfortable eating in the attached restaurant.
Festivals in Aberdeen
Aberdeen International Youth Festival
The Aberdeen International Youth Festival is one of the esteemed celebrations of the city. It is celebrated during the month of August to which almost thousand people from all over the major place join here in Aberdeen to enjoy the festival.
Aberdeen Jazz Festival
The Aberdeen Jazz Festival is the greatest festival that attracts musicians from all over the world. It is celebrated during the month of March.
Including things like music, dance and creativity taken from all over the globe this festival is especially a grand celebration in the city. Particularly belly dancing, henna painting, tabla drumming are major events in the celebration.
Aberdeen Highland Games
Conducted in June, The Aberdeen Highland Games is one of the most entertaining events in the city which is loaded with events and competitions showcasing the skills of sportspeople, dancers and musicians from all over Scotland. Some of the major events that take place are caber tossing, hammer-hurling, shot-putting. These games are more thrilling and entertaining both for the players and the spectators.
Devron Festival Aberdeen
Another major festival that attracts a majority of crowd is the Devron Festival that takes place during the month of June. The festival includes a musical firework with a stirring programme of events. At last, the festival breaks with splendorous fire work bursting right after the gala concert.
The Spirit of Speyside Whiskey Festival
Another interesting festival of the city is the Spirit of Speyside, a wonderful whiskey festival packed with many entertaining events.