This article is all about the changing face of a city - Dundee - City of Discovery - One City, Many Discoveries - UNESCO City of Design. Like the seeds of a flower emerging from the dark earth of Winter, through the growing light of Spring, to the full blossoming in Summer, so the City of Dundee has emerged from the smoky age of the dark satanic jute mills of the 19th century, through the upheavals of the 20th century and into the 21st century of many discoveries.
Now a thriving city with the University of Dundee a leading light in medical science research with eminent scientists such as Sir Phillip Cohen seeking new treatments for cancer, Abertay University at the forefront of digital media with invention of video games such as Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto, Sue Black leading the way in forensic science, Dundee continues to live up to its name.
Innovation and invention is a trait associated throughout the ages with Dundee. The creative industries at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design are where artists such as painter David Mach, photographer Albert Watson, fashion designer Hayley Scanlan, film director David Mackenzie and video games pioneer Aaron Garbut honed their skills. Textiles is another area of research and development. Verdant Works Museum, a former mill, tells the relationship between Dundee and India during the 19th and 20th centuries and, of course, jute has become an eco material used in fashionable bags.
HMS Frigate Unicorn built in early 19th Century and RRS Discovery, built in Dundee at the beginning of the 20th century, will, in 2018, be joined at the waterfront by another "ship". This museum of Scottish design and innovation is to be housed in an iconic building designed by Kengo Kuma, in the shape of a ship pointing out to sea. It is exciting to see this building now rising like a flower coming into bloom.
The beautiful McManus Museum and Art Gallery has recently been refurbished and Dundonians are flocking to their beloved museum and are so proud of its transformation where they can trace Dundee's place in the world from early man to the present day. In the bustling cultural quarter, you can find the Contemporary Arts Centre with travelling exhibitions, a shop with jewellery by new young entrepreneurs and cinemas showing the latest films.
The Observatory on Balgay hill is popular with the local habitants, satisfying their curiosity of the universe. From the top of the Law, the hill around which Dundee is built, and a spectacular view point, the whole of Dundee, the hills of the Kingdom of Fife to the South, the Angus Glens and Glamis Castle to the North, Broughty Ferry with its speciality shops, sandy beach and rock garden to the East, the Botanic gardens and Vale of Strathmore towards Perth in the West, whet the appetite for short car trips. In Dundee itself all attractions are easily accessible on foot and local busses are available from the centre of town to more distant places.
There is so much more to discover and the increase of visitors has given rise to more hotels being built and the ever poplar Bed and Breakfast establishments are embracing the improvements sought by today's travellers. Do come and join us on your voyage of discovery - there is something of interest for all ages.
Owner of Duntrune House & Tourism Expert