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Scottish Gaelic Obar Dheathain
The coat of arms of Aberdeen
The coat of arms of Aberdeen
Coordinates 57 ° 9 ′  N , 2 ° 6 ′  W Coordinates: 57 ° 9 ′  N , 2 ° 6 ′  W
Aberdeen (Scotland)
Residents 227,560 (as of June 30, 2018)
surface 186 km² (71.82  mi² )
Population density: 1223 inhabitants per km²
Post town ABERDEEN
ZIP code section AB10-13, AB15-16, AB21-25
prefix 01224
Part of the country Scotland
Council area Aberdeen
British Parliament Aberdeen North , Aberdeen South , Gordon
Scottish Parliament Aberdeen Central , Aberdeen Donside , Aberdeen South and North Kincardine
Website: www.aberdeencity.gov.uk

Aberdeen [ æbəˈdiːn ] ( sco . : Aiberdeen [ ebərˈdin ]; Scottish Gaelic : Obar Dheathain [ ˈopər ˈʝɛhɪn ], "mouth of the Don ", officially City of Aberdeen ) is a city in north-east Scotland in the United Kingdom .

The city is one of the 32 Council Areas in Scotland and has two universities, of which the University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 as the third university in Scotland. Students make up around ten percent of the population.

The city has been important since the 12th century. The silver-gray granite from the formerly surrounding quarries is typical of the cityscape. When the sun shines, the mica in the granite starts to glitter, which is why Aberdeen is often called the Silver City ; or Flower City , because thanks to its flower arrangements the city has repeatedly won the Britain in Bloom competition. Since the first oil fields in the North Sea were developed in the early 1970s, the port metropolis quickly developed into the main supply center for the offshore platforms. With good visibility you could see the oil drilling platforms off the coast with the naked eye.


Aberdeen is at the mouth of the Dee and Don rivers . With around 228,990 inhabitants (as of 2014), Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland.

Old Aberdeen is roughly the same as Aberdon , Aberdeen's first settlement. Aberdon literally means at the mouth of the Don (... in the sea) in reference to the local rivers. The current name literally means between Dee and Don (the second local river). The Celtic prefix Aber- means confluence of in relation to the rivers.


The Aberdeen area has not been shown to have been inhabited by humans for at least 8,000 years. At the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC BC the cup cultures spread everywhere . In the early days they were also known as the Cord Ceramic Culture . Clear evidence of settlement at this time is provided by mysterious stone circles in the Aberdeenshire area . 400 BC The Celtic migration from southern Scotland began. The Romans came to Aberdeenshire in the 1st century AD Agricola , the Roman governor of Britannia, led a force of around 40,000 soldiers to Caledonia in 84 AD. They fought and defeated the united armies of the Picts at the Battle of Mons Graupius , near the tip of Bennachie in Aberdeenshire.

The exact founding date of Aberdeen is unknown. But it is said that St. Machar created a Celtic chapel here in 580 AD. Initially, two separate settlements, the so-called burghs or boroughs , arose : Old Aberdeen at the mouth of the Don River and New Aberdeen, as a fishing and trading center, at the mouth of the Denburn River in the Dee. Alexander I made Aberdeen his main residence in the 11th century . William the Lion (William I) granted the citizens of Aberdeen the rights of a free Hanseatic League in 1179 and confirmed independence for David I over the territory.

St. Machar's Cathedral, west side

During the Scottish Wars of Independence against England , Robert Bruce was the leader of the rebellious Scots . At that time Aberdeen was under English rule, Robert Bruce destroyed the castle after a long siege. In 1308 the massacre in the English garrison and the recapture of Aberdeen for the citizens followed. The Magna Carta of Robert the Bruce , the support services for the Aberdonians was awarded in war, turned Aberdeen into owning and financially independent community. With the charter, the nearby forest of Stocket was assigned with hunting grounds and thus secured the town's income. At the same time, the city was awarded the coat of arms with the motto Bon Accord (for good consistency ).

The city was built on the orders of Edward III. Burned down in 1336 and rebuilt and expanded after the riots. This created the so-called New Aberdeen . The city was heavily fortified to prevent attacks from neighboring lords, the gates were removed from 1770. In the Wars of the Three Kingdoms from 1644 to 1647, the city was sacked impartially by both sides. In 1644, Aberdeen was captured by royal troops and sacked after the battle. In 1647, an outbreak of the plague killed a quarter of the population.

In the 18th century a new town hall was built and elegantly furnished with a Dutch marble fireplace and a number of beautiful crystal chandeliers and wall lights. The first social institutions came into being with the construction of the outpatient clinic at Woolmanhill in 1742 and that of the madhouse in 1779. At that time, the major arteries of George Street, King Street and Union Street were expanded.

Large textile mills and paper mills were built in Aberdeen during the Industrial Revolution. The clippers built in the Footdee shipyards were considered the fastest sailing ships of their time. The construction of steamers opened up new growth opportunities for the fishing industry and powerful trawler fleets were set up to catch herring, cod and haddock. In the 19th century, the up-and-coming port metropolis received new administrative buildings and living space around Union Street by the two city planners Archibald Simpson and John Smith, and a heart was created for the city from local granite. With the development of shipbuilding and fishing, the existing ports of Victoria Dock , Breakwater to the south and North Pier have expanded. The expensive infrastructure program had an impact, and in 1817 the city went bankrupt. Gas street lights came on in 1824. In 1830, improved water supplies were created by pumping water from the Dee into a reservoir at Union Place. In 1865 an underground canal system replaced the open sewers, at the same time the Denburn Valley was spanned by Union Street with a bridge, the structure consists of a single arch with a span of 40 m. As a port city, Aberdeen in Scotland is only surpassed by Glasgow and Greenock , because in 1883 it had 206 seagoing vessels with a capacity of 108,128 gross registered tons and 508 fishing boats. In 1883, 2,514 ships with 638,897 tons of cargo entered the port of Aberdeen; exports were £ 73,393 and imports £ 853,078. The excellent port facilities and railway connections promoted trade. In addition to the city's industrial products, mainly herring (1882: 82,407 t, 1883: 45,667 t), then cattle, salmon, fish, eggs, butter, vegetables and the like were exported. a.

The districts merged in 1891. The new urban area now includes the former Burghs Old Aberdeen, New Aberdeen, Woodside and the Royal Burgh of Torry south of the Dee River. A tram system was created after the Second World War, but operations were stopped again in 1958. In 1964, Aberdeen hit the headlines after a typhoid outbreak following the sale of contaminated meat from the William Low & Co. shop of Union Street. In 1969, Montrose Field was the first British oil field to be developed off the Scottish east coast - in 2003 over 120 oil and gas fields were in production. A ring of new settlements arose around the city, and the number of inhabitants doubled. Today the boomtown has the lowest unemployment rate in the UK at just under 3 percent.

The Aberdeen Theater


Europe's oil capital has shopping, especially on Union Street and its side streets. The center of student life is medieval Old Aberdeen. There is a wave pool on the promenade. In His Majesty's Theater in Rosemount Viaduct ballet, opera, musicals and theater are given as guest performances of foreign stages, the Glasgow-based Scottish National Orchestra will perform at Music Hall in Union Street. The Arts Center & Theater on King Street and The Lemon Tree , 5 West North Street, are known for experimental productions . The Aberdeen International Youth Festival with folk dance, jazz and rock is also held here in summer .


Silver City Aberdeen


  • Castle Street : On Castle Street, the Market Cross with the Scottish unicorn symbolizes medieval market law. The portrait medal on the city cross erected in 1686 shows the Stuart monarchs from James I to Maria Stuart .
  • Old Aberdeen : Less than three kilometers north on the banks of the Don is the cobblestone old town. It had its own market rights until the 19th century. Today the listed quarter with buildings from 1641 is the preferred meeting place for students.
  • St. Machar's Cathedral : The cathedral of the Church of Scotland on the Chanonry in Old Aberdeen was built in the middle of the 12th century on the site of a Celtic church dedicated to St. Machar is said to have founded in the 6th century. What is striking about the granite building, consecrated by Bishop Leighton in 1440, are the two west towers with sandstone spikes, made 1518–1530 under Bishop Dunbar. In 1520 he also commissioned the oak ceiling in the nave with the coats of arms of European kings. Both church fathers are buried here.
  • Other cathedrals in the city include the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aberdeen , which was built in 1860, and St Andrew's Cathedral of the Scottish Episcopal Church , which was built in the early 19th century and is listed in the Scottish Monument Lists in the highest monument category A.
  • Brig o'Balgownie : Through Seaton Park you get to the medieval bridge over the Don, which was built in 1320 on the orders of Robert the Bruce . Until the 19th century it was the only northern entrance to the city.
  • Brig o'Dee : At the other end of town you pass the seven-arched bridge, which was widened in 1842. Bishop Dunbar had it built between 1520 and 1527 and provided with coats of arms and inscriptions.
  • Marischal College : Remarkable granite buildings by architects Archibald Simpson, William Smith and James Matthew line Union Street. One is the college founded in 1593 by George Keith, 4th Earl Marischal , on Broad Street. It was intended to hold a Protestant counterweight to King's Catholic College in Old Aberdeen. Construction of the current facility with the 72 m high Mitchell Tower began in 1837. Archibald Simpson provided the plans for the four-wing granite structure, while A. Marshall MacKenzie was responsible for the neo-Gothic western front added from 1890–1906. Marischal College is considered to be the second largest granite building in the world after the Escorial near Madrid . The museum not only provides information about the north-east of Scotland, but also has anthropological collections from Egypt, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii and Tibet.
  • Provost Skene's House : The oldest residential building in Aberdeen from 1545 was named after Sir George Skene of Rubislaw, a wealthy merchant. He came to fortune in the Baltic Sea trade with Danzig and held the mayor's office from 1676 to 1685. Today the Municipal Museum shows prehistoric finds and provides information about past eras from Cromwell to the Victorian era.
  • Tolbooth : One of the oldest buildings in Aberdeen and one of the oldest and best preserved prisons in Scotland. The top of the tower has been preserved in its original condition from 1630/1706. Today the tower is a museum, which houses a few exhibits and the original market cross .
  • Duthie Park , public park


Model of the Murchison oil rig in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum
  • Maritime Museum : The Maritime Museum has exhibits on the history of the Port of Aberdeen, seafaring, fishing and the oil industry. The highlight of the exhibition is the true-to-scale and detailed replica of a large oil drilling platform, the Murchison platform. In the front area of ​​the building, a kind of glazed atrium, it extends over all floors. The Provost Ross's House , built in 1593, adjoins the modern part of the museum with its glass facade . In 1997 the museum was named Scottish Museum of the Year, winning the Royal Institution of Architects in Scotland's highest restoration award and the Scottish Best Building award for architecture .
  • Blair's Museum : The museum on South Deeside Road in the former Blair's College is dedicated to the Catholic history of Scotland and the tragic fate of Mary Stuart. The nearby Maryculter is dedicated to the fairy tale world.
  • Tolbooth : This small prison museum houses some exhibits about the city and criminal history of Aberdeen.


Market Street leads down to the port of Aberdeen, which offers sufficient draft even for large overseas ships up to the Victoria and Upper Dock. At the east end of the dock facilities, large tanks signal the economic importance of North Sea oil. Footdee, Aberdonian Fittie , built in the early 1800s , is a reflection of the past.

Parks in Aberdeen

Seaton Park
  • Duthie Park : South of the harbor, the Deeufer follows Riverside Drive to Duthie Park. There is one of the largest winter gardens in Europe and flower arrangements, including a hill just for roses and a garden for the blind.
  • Victoria Park : In the middle of the park on Watson Street is a fountain made from 14 different types of granite.
  • Westburn Park : This park, opposite Victoria Park, mainly offers sports facilities such as tennis and soccer fields .
  • Hazlehead Park : Aberdeen's largest green space on Groats Road; In addition to azaleas and rhododendrons, there is a rose garden, a maze and three golf courses. The Hayflied Riding Club also uses the facilities.
  • Seaton Park : The outer part of the park on the northern edge of Old Aberdeen consists of an English park with large lawns and sparse trees. A baroque garden, which shines with colorful flowers in summer, leads to the hill on which the St. Machars Cathedral and its churchyard are located.

Administration and politics

Aberdeen is the historic capital of Aberdeenshire . In addition to Glasgow , Dundee and Edinburgh , Aberdeen had been one of the four Counties of Cities in Scotland since 1899 . In 1975 Aberdeen became a district of the Grampian region and in 1996 the city became the Council Area "City of Aberdeen" as part of the introduction of a one-tier administrative structure . Aberdeen is also one of the Lieutenancy Areas of Scotland.

The Aberdeen City Council consists of 45 councilors chaired by the Lord Provost , whose position has been held by Barney Crockett since 2017 . Since the local elections in 2017, the council has been composed as follows: 19 councils of the Scottish National Party (SNP), 11 councils of the Conservative Party , 9 members of the Labor Party , 3 councils of the Liberal Democrats and 3 independent councils.

The area of ​​Aberdeen is divided into three constituencies for elections to the House of Commons : Aberdeen North , Aberdeen South , which exclusively cover areas of the City of Aberdeen, and a small part of the constituency of Gordon .

In elections to the Scottish Parliament , the area is divided into three constituencies: Aberdeen Central , Aberdeen Donside and part of Aberdeen South and North Kincardine .

Transport and infrastructure

Aberdeen Harbor
Approaching Aberdeen, right the Dee, top left the Don
  • Aberdeen is the most important center in the far north of Great Britain and an important seaport city on the North Sea . Aberdeen is considered to be the oil capital of Europe.
  • The Aberdeen Airport (ABZ) , in Dyce in the north of the city, offers a range of national and international destinations, including France, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries.
  • The heliport, which serves the oil industry and rescue services, is one of the most visited heliports in the world. The flight from London to Aberdeen's modern Dyce Airport, 9.6 km north-west of the city, takes a little over an hour, and there is a shuttle bus connection.
  • The Aberdeen Train Station is located on the railway Edinburgh-Aberdeen and at the railway Aberdeen-Inverness . It has a connection via Edinburgh to one of the main lines of the British railway system, the East Coast Main Line . This way there are direct connections to major cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. The station is also served by the Caledonian Sleeper , one of the last British night trains.
  • There are six major roads into and out of the city. The A90 is the main north-south axis and connects Aberdeen with Edinburgh , Dundee , Brechin and Perth in the south and Ellon , Peterhead and Fraserburgh in the north. The A96 runs to Elgin and Inverness to the north and west. The A93 is the main route west towards Royal Deeside and Cairngorm. The A944 also runs west through Westhill and Alford. The A92 was before the construction of the original A90 road south, it now serves as a tourist route. The A947 leaves the city on the Dyce and leads towards Newmachar , Oldmeldrum and Turriff finally to Macduff .
  • The port of Aberdeen is the largest in the north of Scotland. There are regular ferries to the Orkney and Shetland Islands from Jamieson's Quay.
  • The company FirstGroup operates the city buses in the city under the name First Aberdeen , as the successor to the companies Grampian Regional Transport (GRT) and Aberdeen Corporation Tramways (tram). The Stagecoach Group also operates bus routes in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, under the name Stagecoach Bluebird. Other bus companies (e.g. Megabus, Citylink) also serve the north and south of the city.


Tug and supply ships in the port

Traditionally Aberdeen has been fishing, textile mills, shipbuilding (shipyards) and the paper industry. These industries went into decline.

Textile production ended in 2004 with the closure of the Richards company.

Gray granite has been quarried in the Rubislaw quarry for more than 300 years and has been used for the installation of paving stones, curbs and building blocks. Thus Aberdeen Granite to build the terraces of the Houses of Parliament and Waterloo Bridge used in London. The granite extraction was stopped in 1971.

With the discovery of significant oil reserves in the North Sea towards the end of the twentieth century, Aberdeen became the center of the petroleum industry in Europe. The oil rigs off the coast are served by one of the largest heliports in the world; Aberdeen is often referred to as the oil capital of Europe. In 2008 the oil price reached an all-time high; after that he fell. In the second half of 2014 it fell by about half.

Aberdeen is known as a shopping metropolis in northern Scotland. The 'Union Street' with the large shopping centers St Nicholas & Bon Accord and The Mall Aberdeen is a well-known shopping street. There are numerous Indian shops and charity shops on 'George Street'. In 2009 a new large shopping center called UnionSquare was opened at the station .

Established businesses


There are two universities in Aberdeen, the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University . The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495, making it the third oldest university in Scotland and the fifth oldest in the United Kingdom.

There are also schools for chemistry and agriculture, an art school, theological schools of the Scottish Free Church and the Catholics and two high schools.

useful information

In order to reduce domestic energy consumption by 31% by 2007 compared to 1997 values, the city of Aberdeen took the unusual measure of taking thermal images of all buildings in the city from an airplane in order to identify which houses were due to poor insulation of the walls , Windows, roofs or hot water tanks waste energy through heat loss. The map created on the basis of the data from 2001 can be viewed on the Internet free of charge. The aim is to inform homeowners and the city authorities in which areas energy costs and thus the emission of greenhouse gases can be reduced.

The beach at Aberdeen was radioactively contaminated by waste from the oil industry and was therefore closed in the summer of 2005.

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Aberdeen ranked 58th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018.

Twin cities

Aberdeen has relationships with the following five twin cities :


Sons and daughters of the town:

Climate table

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: wetterkontor.de
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Aberdeen
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 5.1 5.6 7.5 10.2 12.7 15.9 17.6 17.2 15.2 11.7 8.3 6.2 O 11.1
Min. Temperature (° C) 0.0 0.2 1.5 2.9 5.1 7.8 9.9 9.6 8.1 5.6 3.1 1.4 O 4.6
Precipitation ( mm ) 80 52 61 53 59 53 61 75 68 87 75 73 Σ 797
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.7 2.6 3.6 4.9 5.7 5.8 5.1 4.9 3.9 3.0 2.1 1.4 O 3.7
Rainy days ( d ) 13 10 12 11 11 9 10 11 11 12 12 12 Σ 134
Humidity ( % ) 84 83 81 80 80 81 81 82 82 85 84 84 O 82.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: wetterkontor.de


Web links

Commons : Aberdeen  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Mid 2018 Estimates of the population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  2. a b Information from the Scottish Parliament
  3. a b c d e Baedeker (editor): Allianz travel guide. Scotland . 9th edition. MairDuMont, Ostfildern 2009, ISBN 978-3-8297-1068-8 .
  4. Mid-2014 population (PDF; 1.2 MB)
  5. ^ Richard Stephen Charnock: Local Etymology. A Derivative Dictionary of Geographical Names . Published by Houlston & Wright, Glasgow 1870.
  6. Alexander Keith: A Thousand Years of Aberdeen . Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen 1987.
  7. Chris Brown: The Battle of Aberdeen 1644 . Tempus Publishing, Gloucestershire 2002.
  8. Margaret Ellen Smith, William Hamish Fraser and James Naughtie: Aberdeen, 1800 to 2000: A New History . Tuckwell Press, Edinburgh, 2000.
  9. Sir William Blackwood (ed.)?: Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (?). The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland , Edinburgh 1871.
  10. Listed Building - Entry . In: Historic Scotland .
  11. ^ Provost Skene's House website , accessed August 18, 2013
  12. ^ A b C. P. Croly: The Tolbooth Museum - Aberdeen's 17th century jail . Ed .: Aberdeen City Council. 2013, ISBN 978-0-900017-73-5 , pp. 22 .
  13. ^ Website of the Maritime Museum , accessed on August 18, 2013
  14. ^ Website on the history of the Maritime Museum , accessed on August 18, 2013
  15. Blairs Museum website , accessed on August 18, 2013
  16. ^ Composition of the Council of Aberdeen
  17. Aberdeen City and Shire ( Memento October 11, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  18. the Donside paper mill closed in 2001, the Davidson Mill in 2005, the Stoneywood paper mill reduced its workforce.
  19. See also Richards of Aberdeen (English Wikipedia)
  20. zeit.de: Big Oil is disarming (The drastically reduced price for the raw material plunges all of Scotland into crisis)
  21. Homepage
  22. Heat loss map of Aberdeen ( Memento of May 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), See IT (English)
  23. The GILDED Project (English)
  24. Planet Knowledge Interview: Radioactive Waste, accessed April 18, 2011.
  25. Mercer's 2018 Quality of Living Rankings. Retrieved August 18, 2018 .
  26. Aberdeen City Council - Twinning ( memento of October 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ). Retrieved October 14, 2016