10 selected places worth seeing & visiting in Łódź with some short history of the city
The city of Łódź is situated in central Poland, 393 km from the border crossing in Świecko (German border), 336 km from the border crossing in Terespol (Belorussian border), 277 km from Cieszyn (Czech border) and 332 km from Gdańsk. The distance to Warsaw is 133 km.
In 1414, the bishops of Kuyavia made the first attempt to grant Łódź the municipal rights. However, the town was not successfully incorporated until 1423, when King Władysław Jagiełło decided to take the matters in his hands.
In 1820, the Kingdom of Poland authorities included Łódź in the group of industrial settlements. n the centre of the new land development project, a spacious octagonal market plaza (today’s Liberty Square (Plac Wolności)) was constructed in the place where the Town Hall was built in 1827 and the Holy Trinity evangelical church of Augsburg Confession was constructed in 1828 as the first temple in this part of the town. Very good living conditions and favourable labour market resulted in a great influx of settlers. In 1840, the town population reached 10,000, and it was clear that it was just the beginning. Already in the middle of the 19th century, Łódź became the second biggest (after Warsaw) city of today’s Poland.
It is worth reminding that in 1839, thanks to the Saxon manufacturer Ludwik Geyer, the first steam machine in the city was commissioned in the so-called White Factory (Biała Fabryka), and the black smoke from numerous chimneys became a landmark of the city.
The World War II cast a shadow on the city’s achievements, and already in 1939 Łódź was incorporated into the Third Reich. The murderous wave of the Nazi terror, leaving behind mass graves, prisons and concentration camps, was aimed at showing the Polish and Jewish citizens their place in the new country. Camps for men in Radogoszcz and for children and youths in Przemysłowa Street left our consciousness tragically scarred. The vast majority of the Jewish community was gathered in the ghetto located in the poorest city district (Old Town and Bałuty). Only a few out of 200,000 Jews survived this nightmare, and numerous monuments and plaques preserve the memory of those horrible times nowadays.
On 19 January 1945, Łódź regained its independence. It was the time of rebuilding the devastated industry and developing science and culture. Several universities, theatres and museums were created. The city borders were considerably expanded (to 300 km2), new areas for industrial plants were set out, and the factories were moved from the city centre to its suburbs.
New businesses emerged – one of the finest example is the old, desolate factory buildings of the Israel Poznański’s textile empire, devoid of their machinery, have been transformed into the commerce and entertainment centre called Manufaktura. This new role will save them from total demolition and fading into oblivion.
10 selected places worth seeing&visiting:
- Manufaktura Complex - awarded in 2010 Golden Certificate for the Best Tourist Product by Polish Tourist Organisation
- Museum of the City - extraordinanry Palace of Israel Poznański
- Museum of the Factory - dynamic & interactive display of the industrial development of Manufaktura
- MS2 - Museum of Art - the finest in Europe modern art collection
- Piotrkowska Street - shoppers&diners paradise surrounded by the XIXth century palaces of Łódź manufacturers
- Palace of Carl Scheibler - the only one in Poland - Museum of Cinematography
- Leopold's Kindermann Villa - pearl of art nuveau style
- Botanical Garden & Greenhouse - green area in the city center
- Priest Mill Complex of Scheiblers Family - one can feel the atmosfere of XIXth century Lódź
- Jewish Cementery at Bracka Street - the biggest in Europe