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This article is about the Scottish city. For other Stirlings see Stirling (disambiguation).
Broad St at the heart of Stirling's Old Town on a rare snowy day
Broad St at the heart of Stirling's Old Town on a rare snowy day

Stirling is a city in central Scotland, in the district of Stirling.

Stirling is an ancient town, clustered around a large castle and medieval old-town. It is a centre for government, retail, and light industry. Its population (as of the 2001 census) was 45,115.

A former capital of Scotland, Stirling was known as a Royal Burgh until 2002 when, as part of Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.

Stirling has been strategically significant since at least the Roman occupation of Britain, due to its easily defensible hill (latterly the site of Stirling Castle) and its commanding position beside the River Forth. A ford, and later bridge, of the river at Stirling brought the city wealth and influence, as did its port. Major battles in Scotland's long conflict with England took place at the Stirling Bridge in 1297 and at the nearby village of Bannockburn in 1314.

The town motto, which was adopted in 1296, is:

The Britons stand by force of arms
The Scots are by this cross preserved from harms
The Castle & Bridge of Stirling town
Are in the compass of this seal set down.
Stirling Castle (Southwest aspect)
Stirling Castle (Southwest aspect)

Famous residents include Mary, Queen of Scots, King James VI of Scotland, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (former British Prime Minister).

The University of Stirling opened in a 1967 greenfield site outside the town. It has grown into a major research centre, attracting students from nearly 80 countries.

Local sporting teams include the football team Stirling Albion F.C., and the rugby union team Stirling County.

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