“ Sightseeing Type: Churches / Address: 1 Hill Top / Coventry CV1 5AB / England / Tel: +0044 24 7652 1200 „
Coventry Cathedral is a unique Cathedral in that it is joined to the old Cathedral.
The old Cathedral was bombed in the 2nd world war and rather than demolishing it completely the designer Basil Spence wanted to show peace and reconciliation so all the parts are deeply seated in peace and reconciliation.
The New Cathedral has several parts to it, there is the huge glass window which has etchings of saints and angels by John Hutton, through this window the old Cathedral can be seen, there is a canopy over the space inbetween the 2 Cathedrals which connects them.
The old Cathedral has been left just as it was with the tower still standing, it is possible to go up the tower with fantastic views over Coventry and beyond.
In the old Cathedral is a a cross made of the cross beams from the old Cathedral which had fallen in a cross shape in the rubble, also from the rubble three nails were used to make what is now know as the cross of reconciliation.
Back in the new Cathedral there are many amazing parts I can't remember all of them as there are so many you'd have to visit!! There is a chapel of Unity which is unique for it's time it's an area for Christians of all denominations to come together and worship. I think that's the amazing thing about this Cathedral it's used by so many different groups and organizations and has a real community feel to it. There is also the baptistry window by John Piper which is full of contemporary stained glass window sections, in the baptistry area is a huge boulder from Bethlehem in fact I think it may even be the font.
There is the prayer room which is peaceful and tranquil. Not forgetting the huge tappestry by Graham Sutherland which depicts Jesus seated on a throne and when you go up close you see a human near his feet - tiny in comparison. I remember as a child visiting the Cathedral with my school group and havin to re-draw the tapestry!
Around the walls as you walk round are lots of scriptures written in stone. All of the building has little bits to look at there is even a story about the coins that are set in the floor - I can't remember the story to tell you unfortunately.
There is the sculpture on the wall outside which you can see on the picture with this review, this is by Epstein depicting the angel St Michael subduing the devil under him. It's so powerful it shows a powerful symbol of the triumphant resurrection of the Cathedral despite the powers of evil and destruction.
There is the chapel of Christ the servant which juts out and you feel like you're sort of outside the building. There is the chapel of Christ of Gethsemane which is beautiful to look at through an artwork of a crown of thorns.
Even the spire was unusual in it's time made from steel in a kind of zig zagging criss cross design!
It just really is an amazing peice of architecture and even if you're not into religion it is an amazing experience, as we all know how awful the world wars were.
One year the Coventry Mystery plays were performed within the old Cathedral and I went to watch it - it was amazing. It was also used for the filming of Nativity which came out Christmas 09.
It is suggested that visiting the old Cathedral part first and then the new helps you to follow what happened and what Coventry did to show peace and reconciliation. Coventry is twined with the German town that was also bombed in the 2nd world war.
I hope I have done this Cathedral justice it really is amazing and gives sense of awe and peace.
Unfortunately just recently because of costs of upkeep they have had to charge to visit the new Cathedral it's £4.00 but I believe it's £4 well spent. You can still visit the old Cathedral and walk around the new and I'm sure you won't be able to resist going in to have a look!