Before World War II, Coventry, like York and Canterbury, was virtually defined by its cathedral. After the war, to raise national morale, Sir Basil Spence was given the task of building a new cathedral. Wisely, he made no attempt to re-create the building that had been lost to German bombs. The striking, modern Coventry Cathedral, completed in 1962, stands beside the ruins of the blitzed St. Michael's, a powerful symbol of rebirth and reconciliation. Outside the sandstone
building is Sir Jacob Epstein's St. Michael Defeating the Devil; the modern artworks inside include Graham Sutherland's stunning 70-foot-high tapestry Christ in Glory; and unusual abstract stained glass. The visitor center in the undercroft shows a film about the cathedral; there's also a museum about the blitz, and a charred cross wired together from timbers from the bombed building.