Coventry, which thrived in medieval times as a center for the cloth and dyeing industries, is where, according to lore, a naked Lady Godiva allegedly rode through the streets in the 11th century to protest high taxes. In the 19th century the city became an industrial powerhouse, and the first British automobiles were manufactured here (the Coventry Transport Museum is a showcase for the now largely lost British auto industry). In World Wars I and II, Coventry was a center for weapons manufacturing, a fact that made it a favorite German target. On November 14, 1940, it suffered one of the worst air raids of the war: hundreds died, and the historic St. Michael's Cathedral was destroyed. Rapid postwar rebuilding was done in the cold architectural style of the 1950s and '60s and Coventry isn’t a pretty town today, but it attracts history buffs and those who honor its past.
Looking back on eight decades on making travel history.More