Welcome! You made it into the so-called "Eastern European wilderness" and... you survived! Once you take your eyes off of Warsaw it is worth looking in the south-western direction towards the city of Łódź, which in Polish means simply... a boat.
A Brief History of it all
History of Łódź dates back to the times of king Władysław Jagiełło, however it wasn’t until 1820 when the decision was made to transform the village in the wilderness into industry settlement. It was at the end of the 19th century when the city was at its peak of economic hayday. Factories were largely built and many textile manufacturers settled there strengthening the industrial significance of a textile emerging giant.
Over the years to come Łódź was home to one of the biggest fortunes of Europe thanks to its outstanding business and till this day it remains one of the biggest industrial complexes in Europe. Today, Łódź is a creative city and a host of a number of interesting festivals, historical landmarks, architectural time capsule and a home to one of the most prestigious film schools in the world – Łódź Film School.
For over 190 years Piotrkowska has been a symbol of the city’s welfare and prosperity and till this day it remains the very heart of the city. As one of the longest streets in Europe, it marks a historical route from Kraków to Toruń. Currently Piotrkowska street is 4.2 km long and it consists of two parts – a transport route in the southern part and a promenade in the northern.
The view of Piotrkowska promenade facing south (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels (about a 100!) If you wish to have an amazing ramen or truly delicious drinks you should head to OFF Piotrkowska – an old factory complex located at Piotrkowska 138/140 turned into a gastro place. I also highly recommend you wander into some of the neighbouring streets and try different restaurants as they prove to be simply delicious!
OFF Piotrkowska main entrance (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
The whole street is a place full of palaces, villas and monuments – Julian Tuwim’s Bench, Arthur Rubinstein’s Piano or Władysław Reymont’s Trunk. The count of villas and palaces is the highest in Poland – it goes up to 200. One of the most beautiful villas is the one who belonged to Reinhold Richter located at Skorupki 6/8 street. Most buildings have been under a general reconstruction and it is worth a long walk on a warm sunny day.
Beautiful old town houses at Piotrkowska 145 & 147 street (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
Tuwima street with some well-preserved houses (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
Ludwik Geyer Stock Exchange on Piotrkowska and Moniuszki streets (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
Where modern art meets the old architecure - murals on Tuwima street (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
Księży Młyn, Manufaktura and the industrial architecture
The whole city is known for its manufacturing history and against all odds in history most of the factories lasted till our times in a decent condition. Księży Młyn (Priest’s Mill) is the largest historical industrial-residential complex till this day consisting of 19 buildings erected by two of the most prominent families of the end of the 19th century – Scheibler and Grohmann families, who joined powers and created a cotton plant and housing for the workers and their families. Most of the buildings are located around Źródliska Park I and II.
Tymieniecki's Factory today (photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Łódź Film School
To many people worldwide Łódź is known as a home to one of the most outstanding and one of the oldest art schools in the world – Łódź Film School. Since its opening in 1948 it has produced some of the world’s most renowned directors, screenwriters, production managers, actors and many others. Among the notable alumni are: Roman Polański, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Krzysztof Zanussi and Wojciech Jerzy Has and Małgorzata Szumowska.
The school is located at Targowa 61/63 and there is a possibility of a tour around the campus. There is also a Museum of Cinematography right across the road hosting many interesting exhibitions.
Building of the university president at Łódź Film School Campus (photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Museum of Cinematography (photo: Klaudia Czerwińska)
Łódź is definitely and interesting place with loads of history behind it. City’s strong artistic heritage is reflected in a number of festivals, movie projections, exhibits and lectures. However, even though located around 150km away from the capital, living in Łódź is much slower.
As a place of visible prominent Jewish and Polish heritage, it proves to be a delightful place for sightseeing and discovery. Every month life in Łódź is becoming more and more vibrant with new places opening and an easy access to Warsaw from Łódź Fabryczna – a brand new railway station with trains running every few minutes. To look into trains connections and buy tickets visit PKP Intercity site)
Still looking for a place in Łódź? Take a look at Spotahome!
See more from Klaudia on Poland: