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Cruising Article –06/09/2011

Check out the castles and galleries of Glasgow

European cruise destinations

The city of Glasgow is the commercial, industrial and cultural capital of Scotland, drawing tourists with its spectacular architecture and world-class museums. You won't want to miss this exciting destination when you visit the area on a European cruise.

During a trip to Glasgow, you would be remiss if you didn't check out the city's many castles, as these medieval structures are a critical and engaging part of the region's cultural heritage. One of the most famous of these edifices is Inverary, an 18th-century fortification famous for its four imposing conical spires. This castle, which serves as the seat of the Duke of Argyll, is a great place to see noble family portraits, historic artifacts and fine china used by society's elites.

After a visit to Inverary, you can also see Culzean Castle. During the 18th century, famed local architect Robert Adams transformed a military fortress into the castle as it exists today, changing its martial atmosphere into one that looks more like it came out of the pages of a storybook.

Another example of Glaswegian architecture can be found at the Glasgow Cathedral, the only structure of its kind in all of Scotland to survive the Reformation. This cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century, is home to some spectacular stained-glass windows that have to be seen to be believed.

Glasgow is also home to two major museums that give you a chance to see pieces by some of the world's top artists. In the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, a facility housed in a Victorian-style red sandstone building, you can see everything from suits of armor and weaponry to dinosaurs. Meanwhile, the Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park features Chinese and Islamic art as well as paintings by luminaries like Rodin, Degas and Cezanne.

If you want to get out of Glasgow and explore the rest of Scotland, you have plenty of options. In the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, you can explore a millennium of tradition when you visit its many landmarks. During a trip to Stirling, you can dive into the royal intrigue of the central city's eponymous castle. Lastly, you can relax and enjoy the scenery during a visit to Loch Lomond, the second-largest freshwater lake in the country.