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As we were wandering around the SECC area, I noticed an interesting looking small round building called the rotunda. I had no idea what it was till I looked it up.
There are actually two rotunda buildings in the Finnieston area. The North Rotunda is located on Tunnel Street and the South Rotunda at Plantation Place. These buildings marked the entrance to tunnels under the River Clyde. They were designed by Simpson and Wilson, and were built between 1890 and 1896 by the Glasgow Tunnel Company. The Rotunda covered 79 feet deep shafts leading to tunnels which allowed vehicular and pedestrian crossings to the other side of the Clyde.
However, the tunnels became too expensive to run and maintain, so the pedestrian tunnel was closed in 1980, and the vehicular tunnels were filled in 1986
The Rotundas have found many new uses. In 1988 during the Glasgow Garden Festival one housed a replica of Nardini’s ice cream parlour in Largs. They have also been used as a science centre called “Dome of Discovery”.
In 2014, the National Theatre of Scotland used the South Rotunda as a pop-up arts venue for Festival 2014.
The North Rotunda is currently a restaurant while the South sits derelict.
- Historical Travel
Finnieston did not completely denounce its industrial heritage when it reinvented itself. It kept the Finnieston Crane.
The Finnieston Crane, more properly known as the Stobcross Crane, is a disused giant cantilever crane. It now no longer works, but is kept as a symbol of Glasgow's engineering heritage. The Finnieston Crane was the last giant cantilever crane to be built on the Clyde. It was commissioned in June 1928 by the Clyde Navigation Trust. It was completed in 1931 and commenced operation in 1932.
The crane stood in the Queen's Dock, which was opened in August 1877. It was a 61 acre dock area used to export goods from the centre of Glasgow. The Finnieston Crane loaded cargo, especially steam locomotives, onto ships. The cargo was then exported all around the world.
The Finnieston Crane is 174 feet tall with a 152 feet cantilever jib. It has a lifting capacity of 175 tons. When it still worked, it could perform a full rotation in three and a half minutes. It could be ascended either via a steel staircase or by using an electric lift.
The Finnieston Crane is one of four such cranes on the River Clyde. I don't know where they are all located, but there is one at Clydebank where I am from. It is one of only eleven giant cantilever cranes in the world.
- Historical Travel
Finnieston is between Glasgow's city centre and its west end. Historically it was home to the Queen's Docks, warehouses, giant cranes. For a long time, after the demise of shipbuilding, it was a rundown and derelict area. Nowadays it has been reborn as the home of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. People flock to this area for concerts, comedy events, museums and much more. This in turn has led to a proliferation of restaurants and bars.
I came to this area to collect a computer from PC World. I had a quick look at the SECC and a drink in Clydebuilt. In summer I will explore the area much more thoroughly and hopefully in slightly warmer weather.
The SECC is Scotland's largest exhibition centre. The original SECC opened in 1985. Since then there have been two major expansions: the Clyde Auditorium in 1997, and then the SSE Hydro Arena in 2013.
The Main Building of the SECC opened in 1985, staging a concert by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The SECC occupies 64 acres of land. It hosts concerts, exhibitions and professional conferences. In appearance it looks like a giant warehouse. It was interesting to have a stroll around the inside.
In 1995, construction began on the Clyde Auditorium. This was designed by award-winning architect Sir Norman Foster. It looks to me a bit like the Sydney Opera House, but is nicknamed "the armadillo" by most Glaswegian. The Clyde Auditorium was completed in 1997.
The SSE Hydro is a 12,500 seat concert arena. It cost 50 million pounds to build and was opened in September 2013.
- Arts and Culture
The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre is located in the other side of Clyde River just in front of the Science Centre.Is a new and impressive building,i didn't had the time to see this place for the inside,i took that picture crossing the river by the bridge.It looks beautiful isn't? the first time i saw this building i was thinking in the Opera House in Sydney it looks very similar isn't??? .
This is a fantastic building, designed for meetings, conventions and other mass-about-bringing experiences. A B&B-owner later told us that she had been to an Elton John-concert there, and that, even though there were other concerts (!) going on at the same time, you could only hear Elton's fabulous voice :-)
It's huge, and something special. It reminds everyone of the Sydney opera house, it reminded us of a snail (but who are we, right?).
Directions: Along the River Clyde, due West
It's the national venue for public events in Scotland.It's the largest integrated conference and exhibition center in the UK. A first class facility in a vibrant european city and not far from the beautifull countryside.
Directions: opposite of the Science center
- Family Travel
Visit the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center, best known as 'SECC' or Armadillo. As regards architecture is one of the best venues I've seen, only compared to Palau St Jordi in Barcelona.
It's funny how similar it is to Sidney's Opera, have a look at the picture...
Directions: Just off juntion 19 of the M8 motorway.
There's a dedicated station: Exhibition Centre station. Four trains an hour from Central Station (Platform 14) will take you there in 10 minutes.
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