Stirling

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Coordinates: 56°07′02″N 3°56′23″W / 56.117222°N 3.939722°W / 56.117222; -3.939722

Stirling (Gaelic: Sruighlea pronounced [ˈs̪t̪ruʝlə] , Scots: Stirlin) is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland, and is at the heart of the wider Stirling council area. The city is clustered around a large fortress and medieval old-town beside the River Forth. Historically it was strategically important as the "Gateway to the Highlands", with its position near the boundary between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, and its crossing of the Forth, the nearest to the river mouth.

It is a centre for local government, higher education, retail, and light industry. Its population in 2008 was 33,710,[1] for Stirling itself, the wider urban area including Bridge of Allan and Bannockburn has a population of 45,750.[2] This makes it the smallest city in Scotland: indeed it is smaller than many of Scotland's larger towns.

One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a Royal burgh by King David I in 1130, which it remained until 1975, when the county of Stirlingshire was absorbed into Central Region. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.

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