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Stirling EuroWalk

Point E - The Smith Art Gallery and Museum

After walking uphill for a short distance along the back walk, you will come to a junction with a signpost down a short downhill to The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.  Formerly The Smith Institute, it was established at the bequest of the artist Thomas Stuart Smith on land supplied by the Burgh of Stirling. You may choose to bypass this and instead follow signs straight back to Stirling castle, but the very short detour for a visit comes highly recommended.

Smith art gallery

Smith was a 19th-century artist originally from Dunblane: he was sent to school in France and taught art in England and travelled and painted in Italy. He inherited his family’s estate outside Dunblane and founded the Institute which became the The Smith Art Gallery and Museum, which opened in 1874.  He died in Avignon, France.

It houses the famous letters of congratulations on the Wallace Monument from the European liberals and republicans – Garibaldi, Mazzini, Kossuth and other veterans of the 1848 Revolutions – a truly European-wide revolutionary wave.

There are both permanent and changing exhibitions and a visit inside comes highly recommended. There is a café too if a further pit-stop is required, as well as lovely grounds. Some gallery works are available online and one example is of particular interest to Stirling with its connection to the “Sistema” Big Noise orchestras – a portrait of Simón on Bolivar by Austrian artist Francis Martin Drexel.

Whilst it may not reach the annals of history in quite the same way, this group has a particular affinity and gratitude to The Smith for allowing us in 2018 to host our inaugural rally as Stirling4Europe!

On leaving the Smith Gallery continue westward on Albert Place to the roundabout and turn right onto Royal Gardens which has good views over the King’s knot. At the end of the road (where Royal Gardens becomes Greenwood Avenue) turn left onto a footpath. Climb the steps to a crossroads. Take the path ahead which climbs steeply. Pass some more interesting wooden carvings and at a bench keep to the right fork of the path which leads to the cemetery. Turn left and walk straight ahead back to the castle car park, finishing up a steep flight of stairs.

We really hope you enjoyed this little Eurowalk. Please let us know if you have anything to add/ queries or concerns: part of The European Movement in Scotland.

Picture credits: Stirling4Europe 2021