Welcome to Birmingham, a super-diverse city with an ever-shifting identity. This is the quiet mediaeval market town that overnight became the centre of the industrial revolution, over the centuries rolling out leather wares, jewellery, steam engines, motor cars, fountain pens, gun smithery, toys, chocolate, heavy metal music and nanotechnology. The city’s drive to successively reinvent itself as motor city, conference capital and shopping destination reflects that initial burst of energy. The result is a city of many layers, bold planning experiments, overlapping fragments and pockets of creative endeavour which can be tough to navigate without a guide. However, its many treasures coruscate more brilliantly for being lost. This book tells the story many would miss through the art, places, buildings, people and the dynamic mix of cultures that reveal the Birmingham identity, from the smallest architectural details to epic civic structures. Only here can you chill on a bench with local heroes Black Sabbath, will you be greeted at the museum by the fallen angel Lucifer, chance upon a golden Burmese peace pagoda, time travel in the Shakespeare Library and find the world’s oldest surviving instance of railway architecture.