Not classed as one of England’s core cities
because of its proximity to Birmingham, the population of Coventry is over
One of the newest Cathedrals in the world, Coventry’s most famous landmark and visitor attraction is St Michael’s Cathedral, which was built following the World War II bombing of the ancient cathedral by the Luftwaffe.
When it formed a relationship with Stalingrad in Russia during World War II, Coventry became the world's first twin city, Stalingrad is now known as Volgograd. This relationship was established through the people of Coventry wanting to show their support for the Soviet Red Army during the Battle of Stalingrad. Coventry is now also twinned with, amongst 23 other cities around the world, Dresden and Lidice.
Predating many of the large cities around it, Coventry grew from a settlement of the Bronze Age close to what is now Coventry’s city centre where its bowl shape and, large flowing river and lakes in that era, created the ideal settlement area, boasting dense forest and calm weather: food, water and shelter would have been easy to find. The people of the Coventry area may have been the Corieltauvi, a largely agricultural people who had few strongly defended sites and signs of centralised government.
In the 1920s and 1930s, due to the large influx of workers in Coventry working in the booming factories, there was major expansion throughout the city. Following that the motor industry boomed during the 1950s and 1960s and Coventry enjoyed their ‘golden age’. During this period both sports and arts benefited due to the higher disposable income in the city, being one of the highest in the country at that time. This led to Coventry City F.C. reaching the first division of English football and the construction of a sports centre, containing an Olympic standard swimming pool.
Following over 100 years at Highfield Park, since 2005, Coventry City F.C. has been playing at the Ricoh Arena, a 32,609 capacity stadium in Rowleys Green in north Coventry.
There are two universities in Coventry; the University of Warwick is 3½ miles from the city centre, within Coventry’s border with Warwickshire while Coventry University is situated in the city centre on a modern campus.
Recognised for its range of music events, Coventry is home to one of the UK's foremost international jazz programmes, the Coventry Jazz Festival, and the award-winning Godiva Festival.