Dundee is the fourth largest city in Scotland with a population of 151315 (2005 census) and is located near the east coast on the north bank of the river Tay's estuary with the North Sea. Dundee is known as the City of Discovery, both in honour of the RRS Discovery, Robert Falcon Scott's Antarctic exploration vessel, which was built and resides in the city, and of Dundee's history of scientific activities.

Its history began with the Picts in the Iron age and later included several hostilities during the medieval period. The local jute industry initially caused the city to grow rapidly during the industrial revolution. In this period Dundee also gained a reputation for its marmalade industry and its journalism, giving Dundee its epithet as the city of "jam, jute and journalism". Dundee's population reached a peak of nearly 200,000 at the start of the 1970s, but it has declined since due to outward migration and a falling birth rate.

Dundee has seen an influx and growth in the biomedical and technology industries since the 1980s and it now accounts for 10% of Britain’s digital entertainment industry. The city is also famous for being the home of William McGonagall, who is widely known as the "world's worst poet". The city is home to the Scottish Dance Theatre, who are based in the city's Dundee Repertory Theatre, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which regularly plays in the city's Caird Hall. On 5 March 2004 Dundee was granted Fairtrade City status.

Dundee first became a settlement when the Picts settled the area 3,500 years ago. At the time the area was known by the Pictish name of Alec-tum.[3] The name "Dundee" was later adopted from the Gaelic Důn Dčagh, meaning "Fort on the Tay." In 1191 CE, the town was awarded a charter making it a royal burgh.This charter was later revoked by Edward I, only to be granted a new charter by Robert the Bruce in 1327. Dundee became a walled city in 1545, owing to a period of hostilities known as the rough wooing. In July 1547, much of the city was destroyed by English naval bombardment. In 1645, during the Scottish civil war, Dundee was again besieged, this time by the Royalist Marquess of Montrose. It was later invaded by General Monck — the commander of Oliver Cromwell's forces in Scotland as part of the Third English Civil War. The English Parliamentarians destroyed much of the city and killed many of its inhabitants. Dundee was the site of an early Jacobite uprising when John Graham, 1st Viscount Dundee raised the Stuart standard on Dundee Law in support of James VII (James II of England) following his overthrow, earning him the nickname Bonnie Dundee.

The Wishart Arch is the only surviving part of the city wallsDundee greatly expanded in size during the Industrial revolution.Dundee's industrial heritage gives the city its name as "the city of jam, jute and journalism". Jute was the largest of these industries with a number of jute mills spread across the city. By the end of the 19th century, a majority of the city's workers were employed in the jute industry. Dundee's location on a major estuary allowed for the easy importation of jute from the Indian subcontinent and of whale oil — needed for the processing of the jute — from the city's large whaling industry. The industry began to decline in the 20th century as it became cheaper to process the cloth on the Indian subcontinent. The city's last jute mill closed in the 1970s.

The original Tay Bridge (from the south) the day after the disaster. The collapsed section can be seen near the northern endThe "jam" association refers to marmalade, which was purportedly invented in the city by Janet Keiller in 1797 (although in reality, recipes for marmalade have been found dating back to the 1500s). Keiller's marmalade became a famous brand with the mass production and exporting of its products worldwide. However, the industry was never a major employer compared with the jute trade.[7] Marmalade has since become the preserve of larger businesses, but jars of Keiller's marmalade are still widely available. "Journalism" refers to the publishing firm DC Thomson & Co., which was founded in the city in 1905 and remains the largest employer after the health and leisure industries.The firm publishes a variety of newspapers, children's comics and magazines, including The Sunday Post, The Courier, Shout and children's publications, The Beano and The Dandy.

Dundee developed a major maritime and shipbuilding industry in the 19th century. 2,000 ships were built in Dundee between 1871 and 1881, including the Antarctic research ship used by Robert Falcon Scott, the RRS Discovery, where it is now on display.The need of the local jute industry for whale oil also supported a large whaling industry. The Antarctic island Dundee Island takes its name from the Dundee whaling expedition, which discovered it in 1892. Whaling ceased in 1912 and shipbuilding ceased in 1981. The estuary was the location of the first Tay rail bridge, built by Thomas Bouch and opened in 1879. At the time it was the longest railway bridge in the world. The bridge fell down in a storm less than a year later under the weight of a train full of passengers in what is known as The Tay Bridge Disaster