In the north of Aberdeen, St. Machar technically is not a cathedral, but retains the title. The building is in a place of worship established by San Marchar (Holy Celtic) in the sixth century, by information from another popular saint in Scotland, St. Columba, where he subsequently raised the building, what we today is Norman, XI - XII centuries. The first thing to note is how difficult it is to find and access, it's quite hidden but very well maintained by the priests and faithful of the area (belonging to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland). In full swing and with many worshippers, it's quite difficult to get good pictures of the inside. The exteriors are beautiful although a bit creepy. Our camera drew the attention of locals so we concluded that it was not very common to see unfamiliar faces in the area, but this was no problem and the people were most attentive. This time we found one of those hidden corners of the city.
The city of Aberdeen has several important churches that many guide books referred to as cathedrals. The old church of St. Nicholas is one of them. The first remains of the church that were found here date back to the 12th Century, although it is quite possible that the foundations were built much earlier. Its name is due to a miracle performed by Saint Nicholas who saved sailors from certain death during the storm. Historically, it was one of the largest religious centers and had an important impact in medieval times. There are several tombs and some other decorative items, mainly located in the interior. Its main entrance is located on Union Street, with a curious porch that leads to the cemetery (where locals wander curiously playing with their children).
O¡This is one of the most important recreational areas to be found in the city of Aberdeen. It is situated between the two main areas: Old and New Aberdeen. This area is concentrated around the magnificent beaches along this coast of Scotland. At first we found a small boulevard with bars, gyms, and similar attractions. A little further on there are the beaches and boardwalk, where they often hold events such as boat races, contests of various kinds and so on. It's a place where locals take the opportunity to walk with their families, pets and relax a bit.
Golde Square or the golden square is located between North Silver Street and South Silver Street, which together offer a wide range of recreational activities, among which we can specifically highlight theaters, pubs, restaurants, live music and other activities of a similar nature. You could say that is the bohemian area of the city, in the heart yet at the same time apart, we find everything related to art in all its facets. During the day it is quiet, that when the sun sets becomes alive. Yes, it is a bit away from the traditional nightlife of course (with some possible logical exceptions) the average age could be established as people in their thirties. It seemed a very special part of the city to us and of course the most bohemian.
If there is a main central street in the city of Aberdeen it is, without doubt, Union Street. For its size, I think it should be called an avenue rather than a street, but its name is due to historical reasons. It has lots of bars, restaurants, shops and even access to big city attractions, such as the cathedrals. Union Street leads to the port (the most important in the country), beaches and is also the main connection between the two most important areas of the city - Old and New Aberdeen.
This sixteenth century manor house, which today surrounded by skyscrapers, was originally built as the residence of one of the most famous mayors of Aberdeen - Lord Provost George Skene. It should be explained that the title of Major (Mayor) is purely English, in Scotland the name Provost was used until very recently. The position exists but its functions are more symbolic. Rebuilt several times, this house is a museum (with includes a guide) which is free for all visitors to the city. The museum aims to display what the houses of the nobility of Aberdeen used to be like in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries. Although you are not permitted to take photos inside the museum, I managed to get some, in order to exemplify some greatness of this house, which remains free to visit. If you are passing through the "Granite City", it is a must to visit this place.
A picturesque place. It's an isolated old castle, north of Aberdeen, before the whiskey distilleries. The Slain Castle, known as Dracula's Castle, is said to have inspired Bram Stoker to write his famous novel about the vampire. It's especially spooky if you visit during the dark winter months; in summer, it doesn't seem so atmospheric. Like any good castle in Scotland, it is said to be haunted, and the ghosts here include a horse and sleigh and two World War Two soldiers. Around the castle is a landscape of plains and the sea. Be careful around the steep cliff. There are also two old bunkers that were used for communications during the Second World War.
To access: Take the A975 in the direction of the Shetland ferry if I'm not mistaken. There is no way to travel entirely by car, you have to go on foot. To do this, park your car in the parking lot just off the road when you see the castle (you can't miss it). Beware, the path is muddy.
Unfortunately, I've heard that the castle can no longer be accessed as it's being converted into a resort. A shame.
As in other towns or Scottish market centers Cross Market (Mercat Cross) marks the city's main shopping, usually since medieval times but in this case somewhat later in time. This area was called Castlegate, which indicates its proximity to the castle and was next to the port, usual locations for markets. At first glance it looks small scale and the cross reminds us of the one in Edinburgh, after the cathedral, but it's quite different architecturally. It was designed by local architect John Montgomery, with a hexagonal base and Corinthian style finials and adorned with medallions symbolizing different Scottish monarchs. As is normal in these constructions, the highest part is the unicorn, the royal emblem of Scottish monarchies.
The University of Aberdeen is one of the most traditional institutions, not only in Scotland, but in the UK as well. It was officially founded in 1495, and is the third oldest in Scotland (after St. Andrews and Edinburgh) and the fifth oldest in the United Kingdom (The first were Oxford and Cambridge).
This prestigious university has several buildings spread out in different locations, but certainly the most important are the King's College (1495) located in the Old Aberdeen area and Marischal College (1593) in the New Aberdeen area. Both institutions were added in the nineteenth century as a part of the campus of the University of Aberdeen. The Kin's College (the "real school") facilities are spectacular, and make it one of the major cultural attractions of the city.
To me it is one of the most beautiful universities (aesthetically) and has the biggest future in the British academic world.
King's College is the oldest part of the University of Aberdeen, founded in the oldest area of the city called Old Aberdeen. One of the architectural jewels of the city of Aberdeen, it is referred to in city guides as King's Chapel or Royal Chapel. It is a rectangular building with a tower very characteristic of the area, indicating the exact location of the chapel. At its highest point, there is an image of the Scottish royal crown. Apparently this was one of the favorite places of Scottish royals since its construction. It is a beautiful building that gives an important note of distinction to the aesthetics of the university.
St Andrews Cathedral is located on a side street, alongside Broad Street. You can visit this small church for free, but you need to pay attention to the restrictive opening hours. The interior is very bright, with white and gold decorations, and a wonderful golden canopy. Be sure not to miss the stained glass window in the Shuter chapel.
Castlegate is found at the end of Union Street in Aberdeen. As the name indicates, there was once a castle here. Today it is home to the Mercat cross, which dominates the market square adorned with portraits of the city's nobility. At one time this square was the beating heart of the city, and today it's worth visiting to see the cross and the fashionable Union Street.
The Tollbooth of Aberdeen is a seventeenth century building, located within the Town House. Looking up from Union Street, you will see a tower that looks a bit out of place. I recommend a visit inside, as it was once a prison, and you can enjoy the tales of unlikely jailbreaks.
The Painted Gallery is located above the Provost Skene's House, and contains one of the most important and unusual displays of religious painting in Scotland. Ten painted panels depict the life of Christ. There is little information about the cycle; we don't know who commissioned or painted the series. Admission is free. I recommend taking a trip to see these paintings.
The winter gardens, or conservatories are located along the river just a short walk from the center. Here you can find some big greenhouses where exotic habitats have been reproduced. You can see fantastic cacti, as well as dozens of types of geraniums, banana trees and many more kinds of plants. I found it wonderful, and recommend a visit here. On a nice day you can also enjoy the huge surrounding park.
The Marischal College in Aberdeen is an imposing building that takes up almost an entire neighborhood. It has a neo-Gothic facade with steel gray points. The college was founded in 1593 by the fourth Earl Marischal. It is the most striking building in the center of Aberdeen.
Provost Ross's House is the oldest standing building in Aberdeen, and is located on the cobbled street of Shiprow that stretches from Union Street to the harbor. A visit to the mayor's house allows us to understand what life was like at the time, and there are some very valuable paintings.
The variety of things to do in Aberdeen is extensive and covers a wide spectrum of religious and civil attractions in Aberdeen. There are numerous churches and cathedrals, such as King's College Chapel, Crathie Church, St. Andrew's Cathedral or Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, as well as other stuff to do in Aberdeen that's highly relevant to religion. Among the civil buildings and places to visit in Aberdeen there's Craigievar Castle, Fasque House, Slains Castle and Torry Battery. The best way to visit all the things to see in Aberdeen in every corner of the city is to create a route that outlines those that are of most interest to you. Other Aberdeen activities include getting to know the fishermen's neighbourhood, Footdee, by taking a walk through it. Among its streets you'll discover a different atmosphere with typical granite houses very characteristic of the area. Are you wondering what to do in Aberdeen that's unique? Well, if you prefer another type of tourism, Balmedie Beach and City Beach are the two beaches in the city where you can enjoy a good swim. If you're traveling with younger children, two recommended Aberdeen attractions are Storybook Glen and Codona's Aberdeen. These are two highly recommended parks. Search Minube for new places to see in Aberdeen and make the most of your experience in this Scottish city.