To many visitors, the University of Glasgow looks like something out of a fantasy novel, with its neo-Gothic buildings looming from a hilltop location, boasting turrets, statues and vaulted cloisters. 

That reputation is likely to be further reinforced as it launches the first research center in the world to focus solely on fantasy. According to the university, the Centre for the Fantasy and the Fantastic comes five years after academics created the world’s first ever masters in Fantasy Literature. The center is led by Dr Dimitra Fimi and Dr Rob Maslen and will look at different expressions of fantasy in literature, art, illustration, games and gaming, film and TV.

While the announcement of the center will likely be exciting for many academics, the location only adds to the allure. “Glasgow is the perfect location for students in this field! We are surrounded by expressions of fantasy and the fantastic in the university’s very architecture. But this is also a future-facing university interested in world-leading cutting edge research which will now include our Centre for Fantasy and the Fantastic,” said Dr Fimi in a statement. The center will look at broad topics across fantasy, including myth, legend, folklore, speculative fiction, imaginary languages, and gothic and supernatural fiction. 

The university has been located in the city’s West End since the 1870s. The incredible main building is found high up on a hill, making it an iconic sight in Glasgow. It is a popular attraction with travelers who go to admire its whimsical look, and make a stop at the Hunterian Museum, art gallery and Mackintosh House.

The main facade of Glasgow University's building © andreyspb21 / Shutterstock

Scotland and the rest of the UK has long been an attractive destination for fantasy fans - the UK has produced some of the world’s most famous writers in the genre, such as JRR Tolkien, Philip Pullman and CS Lewis. Oxford is a popular destination for fantasy fans, and Harry Potter fans often head to Edinburgh to see the places that inspired the story. 

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