Now one of the most upmarket centres of shopping in Glasgow, Princes Square used to be an open cobbled courtyard with stables. The original buildings on Buchanan Street consisted of a four-storey merchant square, completed in 1841. In 1987 the court was completely refurbished, and further extended in 1999. The modern interior, now covered by a glass dome roof, is surrounded by the preserved original sandstone facades with the eastern wall redone. Art Nouveau finishings decorate the Square, most notably the 10m by 20m wrought iron and steel peacock, which was added in 1990.
Fashion, art, design, gifts, jewellery, lifestyle, the shops and their products are as stylish as the building itself. Above the thirty odd high-end shops is a floor of stylish cafes, bars and restaurants open until midnight and accessible by escalator from Buchanan Street. Even if you can’t afford to shop there, the architecture inside and outside the shopping centre is worth checking out.
The name is not a misspelling. In 1841 the Lord Provost of Glasgow, James Campbell, who owned the building, named it in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII.
Glasgow Trivia #19: From the first introduction of movies to Glasgow in the last years of the 1800s, Glasgow has been a cinema mad city. In 1939 the city boasted the title of Cinema City, with more than 110 picture houses seating over 175,000 people, more cinema seats per head than any other city in the world. Today only around 10 cinemas remain in Glasgow, but the city is home to the world’s tallest cinema, the 62m (203ft) Cineworld on Renfrew Street, which opened in 2001. With 18 screens on 12 floors, it’s also one of Britain’s busiest cinemas, achieving that distinction in 2003 with 1.8 million visitors.
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