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Coventry: a proud city?
Coventry in General
Member Name: sarahjt
Coventry in General
Date: 14/01/01, updated on 14/01/01 (58 review reads)
Advantages: Good location and history
I lived in Coventry with my parents for the first eighteen years of my life. I won't pretend that it is the most beautiful of cities, but it has some wonderful characteristics if only you look for them.
Obviously WW2 decimated the town centre, but the city fought back from this. Okay, the taste of some of the buildings is questionable, but the regrowth after such suffering has to be commended.
The town centre still has some wonderful sights. The Lady Godiva clock on Broadgate, which has the lady herself riding out as it chimes, is perhaps a little twee, but it really is something to stop and smile about! The much-maligned Cathedral Lanes Shopping Centre does not seem to have ever found its feet, with many shops still empty: it suffers from the proximity of West Orchards. However, the best bit about the centre is the wonderful canopy which covers Lady Godiva's statue, and offers a seating and meeting area. This attracted a great deal of controversy when it was built, however I think it really adds character.
The two cathedrals obviously are the higlight of the centre. The old cathedral simply is incredibly beautiful, and one can only imagine its majesty when it was intact. It is a very peaceful and reflective place to visit, but holds occasional reminders of its dark past. The most amazing thing to be was always the little remnants of stained glass still left in the windows, which you can see if you look hard enough. It prompts you to think of the scraps of beauty still left, and be thankful for them.
The new cathedral, whilst not pleasing all, is breathtaking. From the moment you walk in through the magnificent West Screen, made of glass and decorated with images of angels, you can really feel nothing but awe. What catches your eye immediately as you walk in is the tapestry of Jesus on his throne, the focal point of the whole cathedral. When this was made, it was the biggest of its kind: it had to be made on
antique looms as no modern equipment could cope with the task. Its size and detail are truly staggering: between Jesus' feet stands a man, who looks tiny, but is in fact six feet tall. Combine this with the wonderful majesty of the statue of St Michael and the Devil outside, and you have the most fitting monument to the spirit and faith of those who went through this terrible war.
Coventry also offers a perenially struggling Premiership football team (at least their heart is in the right place!), varied shopping in what was Europe's first pedestrian precinct, and an excellent location at the centre of England.
Most importantly, I believe Coventry offers hope. Although the war and then the decline in the motor industry have done much to dampen the spirits of Coventrians, a sense of pride in the heritage it has to offer, and a feeling of optimism about its bright future mean that this is a wonderful city to visit.