Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland, on the North Sea coast at the mouths of the River Dee and the River Don, and 10 miles from Stonehaven.
Built of granite, it has the nicknames "The Granite City" and "The Auld Grey City". It is far from drab, however, as the council ensure that it is always bedecked with flowers.
Aberdeen was already becoming a major trading centre in the 12th century, and its earliest charter dates back to 1179, granted by William the Lion. But its prosperity later came from shipbuilding and deep sea fishing, until the 1970s, when it became the main supply port for North Sea oil rigs.
Old Aberdeen, a separate entity until united with Aberdeen in 1891, still has a mediaeval heart and street pattern.
St. Machar`s Cathedral is an early granite building, dating back to the 14th century, with a twin towered West front. St. Machar, a follower of St. Columba, is said to have founded Aberdeen.
St. Andrew`s Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Episcopal Communion in America, and has a memorial to Samual Seabury, the first Bishop in the United States, who was consecrated in Aberdeen in 1784.
St. Nicholas` Church is the largest church in Scotland, and was begun in the 12th century.
St. Mary`s Cathedral (Catholic) was built between 1860 and 1880.
Kings College Chapel was built in 1495.
Union Street, a mile long, is the heart of present day Aberdeen.
Marischal College is the world`s second largest granite building, and is the home of the Anthropological Museum.
Old Provost Ross`s House, in the harbour area, is the oldest building in Aberdeen, and is now the Maritime Museum.
The Mercat Cross was built in 1686.
The Winter Garden is Europe`s largest indoor garden.
Among the prominent people born in Aberdeen are Andrew Cruickshank, actor; Graeme Garden, comic actor; James Gibbs, architect; Evelyn Glennie, percussionist; Denis Law, Scotland footballer; and Annie Lennox, singer.
Aberdeen features in the sentimental song "The Northern Lights of Aberdeen (mean home sweet home to me)". It is said that this natural phenomenon can sometimes be seen from the city.