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Aberdeen Third-largest city in Scotland (after Glasgow and Edinburgh), situated between the rivers Dee (s) and Don (n). Aberdeen is the principal seaport on the ne coast of Scotland. Chartered by William the Lion in 1179, Aberdeen is known as the ‘Granite City’ for its grey granite architecture such as St Machar's Cathedral (1131). Since the 1970s, the exploitation of oil reserves in the North Sea has seen the city develop into a major centre of the British oil industry. Pop. (1997) 215,930.