History explorer: The Scottish Enlightenment

As part of our series in which experts nominate British locations to illustrate historical topics, Alexander Broadie explains how Glasgow University inspired some of the 18th century's most brilliant thinkers

Historian Alexander Broadie, photographed in the Hungarian Museum. (Photographer: Jeremy Sutton)

This article was first published in the February 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

Glasgow University’s main building, a magnificent neo-Gothic edifice on top of a hill overlooking the city, dates from the middle of the 19th century. But parts of the building – in particular sections of its fine gateway, now known as Pearce Lodge, and the Lion and Unicorn stairway, next to the Memorial Chapel – can be traced back to the 17th century; the statues of the lion and unicorn that flank the stairway were created in 1690.

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