Inverness ( ; from the Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Nis, pronounced [iɲɪɾʲˈniʃ] meaning 'mouth of the River Ness') is a city in northern Scotland. It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area, and is regarded as the capital of the Highlands of Scotland. It lies near the site of the 18th century Battle of Culloden and at the northeastern extremity of the Great Glen (An Gleann Mòr), where the River Ness enters the Inverness/Moray Firth making it a natural hub for various transport links. It is the northernmost city in the United Kingdom. A settlement was established by the 6th century with the first royal charter being granted by Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim (King David I) in the 12th century. The Gaelic king, Mac Bethad mac Findláich (MacBeth) nicknamed Rígh Dearg (The Red King) held a castle within the city where he ruled as Mormaer of Moray and Ross.
The population of Inverness increased by over 10% from 1991–2001 and from 1997-2007 with an estimated population in 2008 of 56,660. Inverness is a fast growing city, with a quarter of the Highland population living in or around the city and is ranked fifth out of 189 British cities for its quality of life, the highest of any Scottish city. Inverness is twinned with one German city, Augsburg and two French towns, La Baule and Saint-Valery-en-Caux.
Inverness College is the main campus for the University of the Highlands and Islands and offers one of the widest ranging curricula in Scotland. With around 8,500 students, Inverness College hosts around a quarter of all the University of the Highlands and Islands' students, and 30% of those studying to degree level.