King’s Colleges origins go way back to 1495 when William Elphestone founded and built this fantastic building. The name comes from King James IV of Scotland, who was the King of Scotland at the time. It was one of the first universities in the UK, along with St Andrew’s and Glasgow. Situated now within the Aberdeen Universities grounds, it’s a beautiful part of the city.
Initially, doctors, teachers and lawyers trained there to serve the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire areas. That’s over 500 years of training students, quite a history indeed. Today, as part of Aberdeen University, the topics studied count in the hundreds. Aberdeen University has regularly rated the top university in Scotland and one of the top in the United Kingdom.
Admittingly, I’d have loved to study at Aberdeen University. I went to the other university in town, Robert Gordons University(RGU). I have occasionally visited Aberdeen University for talks and events. The old and beautiful buildings give it a real feeling that it’s steeped in history. Its grounds are meticulously kept. RGU has gone the other way in recent years. It’s more of a start of the art, modern facility. Both have their place, but as a ‘university’, Aberdeen is the most authentic.
One student said, “Hands down the most beautiful building I´ve ever had the honor of studying in!!” I have to agree, it certainly would a stunning place to study.
Tourists seem to love King’s College. One noted, “It feels like I’m in a Harry Potter movie”. It has that mystical feel to it, not only beautiful, but you get a real sense of stepping back in time to something extraordinary.
King’s College Chapel is situated very near the main King’s College building. It is used today as the main chapel of the University of Aberdeen. It was built in 1498 and finally finished in 1509. The choir stalls and rood screen, date back to 1509 and give the chapel the most complete medieval church interior in Scotland. Quite a claim when you think of all the other churches in Scotland. The chapel was severely damaged and rebuilt in the 1700s. The tower fell and was rebuilt too around the same date. Naturally, the building was restored to a very high standard, and you cannot tell today of any restoration.
It’s about a 35-minute walk from the City Center. You can criss-cross the streets, or you can head down King Street. You will see a large grass area on your left, which is the universities cricket ground. Behind there, you can see Kings College.
The number 1 and 2 buses run from the City Center down King Street every 10 minutes. If you have time, however, I recommend that you walk and take in the city.Next: Old Aberdeen