Scotland’s third city lies to the north east of the country 117 miles from Edinburgh, 142 from Glasgow and 104 from Inverness. Aberdeen is well served by rail, air (international airport) and sea (to Lerwick in the Shetlands in particular). It lies on the Rivers Don and the Dee which flows into the harbour. The charters for the city date back to 1179 and the town was destroyed by fire in1337. When rebuilt, the city comprised two oarts, Aberdeen and Old Aberdeen, the latter encompassing the old cathedral.
The Granite City, as it is known, because of the preponderance of granite in building construction, is also Europe's oil capital. The North Sea Oil boom in the ‘70s and 80’s needed an HQ and Aberdeen filled the role admirably, and still does. However, its tradition is based on exporting and fishing although much of the fishing has now disappeared. Its seafaring tradition is captured in the Maritime and Marischal Museums and the historic nature of its past is preserved in Provost Skene's House. Fine arts are very strong at the Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Aberdeen Arts Centre. Dramatic Art is well represented at His Majesty's Theatre, the elegant Music Hall, Aberdeen Arts Centre and the sweetly named Lemon Tree Cafe Theatre complex. Aberdeen is a very colourful city and Duthie Park and Winter Gardens always has fine floral displays – it is the largest indoor garden in Europe. Aberdeen is a very colourful city and often wins awards for its magnificent arrays of flowers.
Old Aberdeen, St Machar's Cathedral, Kings College Visitor Centre, Gordon Highlanders Museum and Satrosphere, add to the mass of visitor attractions. Aberdeen is also very colourful with fine architecture and is also an important commercial centre with a busy international airport and impressive harbour, being a gateway to Shetland, Orkney and Bergen (in summer). The 2 miles of sandy beaches include Aberdeen Fun Beach which is one of Scotland's largest leisure and entertainment districts.
Nearby, Inverurie's Bennachie Centre interprets the social and natural history of the area and Archaeolink at Oyne interprets the archaeology of the area. The National Trust for Scotland's Fyvie Castle and Haddo House are also both stimulating properties.
Educationally, the city is an ancient seat of learning. It now has two universities and a number of fine schools. Aberdeen University was founded in 1494 and is still one of the finest universities in the UK.
Life in Aberdeen is very pleasant with good shopping and entertainment facilities. The weather can be “unruly” with cold winds blowing off the North Sea but if you come prepared this does not become a problem.
Aberdeen is surrounded by fine agricultural land and farming is a highly important part of the area’s economy. Attractions nearby include the Pitmedden Garden and Museum of Farming Life, the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, Aden Country Park and Slains Castle, said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula". To the north lie two of the most important fishing ports in the UK, Peterhead and Fraserburgh. To the west lies Royal Deeside a favourite of Queen Victoria and the location of her Scottish Castle at Balmoral. Crathie Kirk and the graveyard where John Brown is buried lie on the estate. Aberdeen was, therefore, a frequent recipient of Royal patronage and still is.
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