St. Michael’s

Coventry, England, UK

Bombed 1940

The Disappointed Tourist: St. Michael’s, Ellen Harvey, 2024. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 24 x 18″ 61 x 46 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The “tourist” should know that this and Dresden’s Frauenkirche are linked haunted sites. The German mega aggression and moral transgression here sadly set the stage for the later Allied atrocities in Dresden. John T.

St Michael’s was a 14th-century Gothic church which was designated as the cathedral for the Diocese of Coventy in 1918. It was bombed almost to destruction by the German Luftwaffe in the Coventry Blitz of November 14, 1940, in which over 4,300 of the city’s homes were destroyed and around two-thirds of the city’s buildings were damaged. The damage was such that Joseph Goebbels coined the term coventriert to describe apocalyptic destruction and it led to a retaliatory change in the British air strategy from precision targeting to the bombing of whole cities. The ruins remain hallowed ground and have been maintained as a memorial. A new St. Michael’s Cathedral, designed by Basil Spence and Arup and built by John Laing, was erected next to the remains of the old and opened in 1956.