At the heart of Glasgow city centre, is George Square. Most visitors will find their way there by admiring the fine buildings, statues and War memorials.
At the Eastern end of George Square, you will see the magnificent Victorian building of the Glasgow City Chambers (comparative to a City Hall). The building was opened in 1888 and as well as being striking on the outside, the inside oozes opulence with elegant and stunning Italian marble staircases. Glasgow City Chambers is one of the city’s most prestigious buildings.
Glasgow City Chambers was built in the 1880s, at a time when at least some of Glasgow's citizens had become very wealthy through trade and industry. They were proud of its positions as the "second city of the Empire" after London. Glasgow City Council decided to create a home for itself that would reflect its status and so launched a design competition, the winner being a London-based architect William Young. Some 600,000 people gathered to watch the laying of the foundation stone on 6 October 1883. Five years later, Queen Victoria performed the official opening.
This grand edifice is a symbol of Glasgow’s historic wealth and has, for more than a century, been the headquarters of successive councils serving the City of Glasgow.
The interior architecture is rather magnificent, the marble staircase is the largest in Western Europe, with marble from Italy and England, and the hardwood walls come from Cuba and Australia. There is marble on the walls too and even leather wallpaper. The original budget had been £150,000 but that rose to £578,232.
You can visit the Glasgow city Chambers for yourself on a free guided tour, which is open to the public, Monday- Friday with tours being conducted at 10.30am and 2.30pm. Tickets for the tour can be obtained from the City Chambers reception desk 30 minutes prior to each tour commencing. Please note tickets are issued on a first come first served basis. If you are planning to bring a party of people on the tour you must contact the City Chambers in advance.
If you cannot make a tour, you are allowed to wander freely around the entrance hall which is equally impressive.
Please also note that the building is a working building and if the chambers are in use you will not be able to visit the actual chambers.
The tour takes you around the interior to the banquet hall and to the Lord Provost galleries, look at the millions of mosaic tiles on the floor as well as touching the opulent marble.
We loved our 45 minute tour around the City Chambers and recommend you take a free tour next time you visit Glasgow!