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Aberdeen city was first incorporated in 1891 however, it has been established for around 8,000 years. It is Scotland's third most populous city and the United Kingdom's 25th most heavily populated city. Its official estimated population is around 210,400.
Aberdeen has been given other names such as the Grey City and the Silver City with the gold sands. The reasons for such names may be that during the mid-18th to mid-20th centuries, Aberdeen's buildings incorporated locally quarried grey granite, whose mica deposits sparkle like silver and the city has a long, sandy coastline.
In the 1970s due to the discovery of North Sea oil it was said that Aberdeen may be the 'Oil or Energy Capital of Europe'. The traditional industries such as textiles and fishing have been over taken by the oil industry and Aberdeen's seaport. The Aberdeen seaport is the largest in the north-east of Scotland.
Although the city first began as two separate burghs: Old Aberdeen, at the mouth of the river Don; and New Aberdeen, a fishing and trading settlement, where the Denburn waterway entered the river Dee estuary, there are no longer any true distinctions between them. They are both part of the city, along with Woodside and the Royal Burgh of Torry to the south of the River Dee.
Traditionally the religion is Christian, Aberdeen's largest denominations are the Church of Scotland (through the Presbytery of Aberdeen) and the Catholic Church. The last census revealed that Aberdeen is the least religious city in Scotland, with nearly 43 % of people claiming to have no religion and several former churches in the city have been converted into bars and restaurants.
Aberdeen City has two very well respected universities, the University of Aberdeen founded in 1495, and the Robert Gordon University, which in 1992 was awarded university status.
Amongst the notable buildings in the city's main street is Castle Street; a continuation eastwards of Union Street, here is the new Town House, a very prominent landmark in Aberdeen, built between 1868 and 1873 to a design by Peddie and Kinnear.
Alexander Marshall Mackenzie's extension to Marischal College on Broad Street, opened by King Edward VII in 1906, created the second largest granite building in the world (after the Escorial, Madrid).
In addition to the many fine landmark buildings, Aberdeen has many prominent public statues, two of the most notable being William Wallace at the junction between Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct, and Robert Burns on Union Terrace, above Union Terrace Gardens.
In January 2011 Aberdeen was named one of five cities which could help the UK climb its way out of the recession due to its high levels of employment, abundance of skilled workers, and an increase in the average weekly earnings.
Aberdeen City and Shire has been said to be the "one to watch" with its rapid growing economy, size and oil reserves.
Aberdeen has won the Britain in Bloom competition a record-breaking ten times, and hosts the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, a major international event which attracts up to 1000 of the most talented young performing arts companies.