Lodz in Poland and the famous Lodz Ghetto
Łódż in Poland is a beautiful and unusual but energetic city. Łódż ghetto was established by Nazi German in 1939. It was the second-largest ghetto in all German-occupied Europe.
Lodz in Poland and Lodz Ghetto
Lodz is a truly green city with around 40 parks. The oldest park is Źródliska Park (1840). A couple of years ago, it was chosen as the most beautiful park in Poland in a contest organized by an American gardening company.
In the park, visitors may also find the Palm House with over 130-year-old trees!
Must See in Poland
Lodz in Poland
The city of Lódz in Poland is also called the «Polish Manchester» which makes more sense rather than the actual name «woudge» (boat in Polish).
The nickname Polish Manchester is due to its size and the fame of the textile industry that developed there in the 19th century. Lodz is also the second-third largest city in Poland.
If you are looking for a place "off the beaten track", then Lodz is a place to visit in Poland. A visit to Lodz in Poland will definitely leave you with good impressions and a better understanding of Poland.
Lodz's historical and global significance is largely due to the ghetto that was built there during World War II.
By Jerzy Strzelecki - Own work, CC BY 3.0
Łódź was once a small settlement that first appeared in written records around 1332. In the early 15th century it was granted city rights but remained a rather small and insubstantial town.
After Poland regained its independence in 1918, Łódź grew to be one of the largest Polish cities. Also one of the most multicultural and industrial centers in Europe, with rapid development in education and healthcare.
Now is the third-largest urban center in Poland with a population of around 750,000 inhabitants. During the 19th century, Lodz became the center of the cloth industry. That was the time of the biggest development in the city.
After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the German Army captured the city and renamed it Litzmannstadt. The city's large Jewish population was forced into a walled zone known as the Łódź Ghetto, from which they were often sent to concentration and extermination camps.
Following the occupation of the city by the Soviet Army, Łódź, which sustained insignificant damage during the war, became part of the newly established Polish People's Republic.
After communism collapsed the industry in Lodz slowly faded away, leaving the city with numerous problems to deal with. These days Lodz tries to redefine itself, drawing inspiration from its industrial past and becoming the alternative hub of Poland.
Why Visit Lodz in Poland?
Łódź is a city of contrasts that intrigues almost at every step. It is full of factories and, at the same time, it is very green; eclectic but also avant-garde. Although the history of the city spans over six hundred years, the dynamic development of Lodz came a little less than 200 ago.
From a small town it was at the beginning of the 19th century, it quickly became the “promised land” giving dozens of thousands of families hope for a better tomorrow.
In 2017 Łódź was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and named UNESCO City of Film. Today it is a creative city, a city of festivals, a city that is being discovered all over again. It is located in the heart of Poland, at the crossing of two main highways.
How to visit and discover Lodz in Poland
Get to Lodz from Warsaw of Krakow by train, car rental, or bus. From Warsaw is just 1 hour and 20 minutes drive (130 km) and from Krakow is around 3 hours and 15 minutes drive (255 km).
The closest station to Manufaktura and the surroundings is the Łódź Fabryczna. Use JakdoJade to get to your destination and see the city. You can view the city on your own. The Tourist Board on Piotrkowska Street is a good place to begin a walking tour of the city.
Firstly get yourself a city map and also ask the Tourist Board for a copy of their free guidebook entitled Jewish Landmarks in Lodz.
Find your Hotel in Lodz
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Lodz in a Nutshell Walking tour
In case you are a group of people, it might really worth booking the Lodz in a Nutshell walking tour. The tour cost €132 per group for 3 hours, €155 for 5 hours, and €180 for 7 hours.
Poznanski Palace in Lodz - Image Source
Discover a city of contrasts and hidden treasures. Get awed by the giant 19th century redbrick factories, Art Nouveau buildings, palatial mansions, and a world-famous film school.
Explore the new symbol of Lodz, the Manufaktura, a huge factory converted into a cultural, commercial, and social center. Lodz is full of energy – a perfect place for creative souls! This might be the best way to go for families and big groups.
The tours are led by a local guide and they provide flexibility to customize your itinerary to your own preferences. If you are a group of 5 people, you are going to pay around €40 transportation by bus from Warsaw and €155 for a tour of 5 hours.
So in total, you pay €199, which is only €40 per person. You can also stay for a night.
Points of Interest - Lodz in Poland
Strolling the picturesque central streets will give you an appreciation for the strength of this city and its citizens. Let's see where to start our journey to the city of Lodz.
Poland’s longest street
It is well known that the longest commercial street in Poland is Piotrkowska street with 4,2 km but also the most eclectic. It's a symbol of the city. We recommend that you visit the local Tourist Info Office located in Piotrowska street before you start your discovery.
Tenement houses and palaces of Piotrkowska house shops, restaurants, cafés, restaurant yards, pubs, and music clubs.
Piotrkowska pulsates with life all year round while fairs and festivals take place in it, such as the Festival of Street Art and Magic, the Light Move Festival, and the Songwriter Festival.
While walking the Piotrkowska street,
- Look inside the renovated backyards, including the backyard of OFF Piotrkowska – one of the new wonders of Poland.
- Also, look up, the front of the buildings are decorated with selected architectural details.
- Finally, look under your feet and see the Alley of Stars pointing to the cinematic heritage of Lodz.
OFF Piotrkowska is a unique project on a national scale, bringing together representatives of creative industries. Workshops of fashion designers, designers and architects, music clubs, restaurants, exhibition spaces, rehearsal rooms, showrooms, concept stores, and café clubs.
On the premises of the former cotton factory of Franciszek Ramisch, there is an ongoing project aimed at the creation of an alternative for the mainstream consumer stream.
Lodz manufaktura, a red brick build factory
One of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in Poland is located on the site of the former Izrael Poznanski factory. Manufaktura has over 300 stores, restaurants, museums, discos, a bowling alley, a climbing wall, a cinema, and a hotel.
In the Manufaktura market, there are fountains and is the place where numerous concerts and outdoor events take place. During the summer, you can relax here on the city beach and in the winter, ride on the ice rink.
Manufaktura is a laureate of the Golden Certificate of the Polish Tourist Organization. The Gold Certificate is awarded to tourist products that have previously received the POT Certificate and have succeeded in significantly expanding their business.
Next to Manufaktura, you can also see the Museum of Lódz.
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Museum of Lodz
Apart from the exhibition of its interiors from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and the exhibition chronicling the history of the industrial Lodz. Exists, a number of rooms have been dedicated to artists related to the city and those who were meritorious to the city’s inhabitants.
Those exhibitions showcase memorabilia of Artur Rubinstein, Julian Tuwim, Jerzy Kosiński, Jan Karski, Aleksander Tansman, Karl Dedecius, Władysław Reymont, and Marek Edelman. Historic interiors are venues for concerts, vernissages, balls, and banquets.
The palace's two-story gallery is famous for the temporary exhibitions of the most appreciated artists in the world, such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Marc Chagalle, or Max Ernst.
In the same block where Manufaktura is, you can also visit the Museum of the Factory.
Museum of the Factory
Museum of the Factory is managed by Grupa Fabricum, a Lodz-based company that renders tourist services in the city of textile workers. Have you already seen the vast Manufaktura? Has the lavishness of Izrael Poznański’s Palace astonished you?
Are you wondering how this unremarkable merchant came into such wealth? The Museum of the Factory will answer all those questions.
Through modern multimedia-filled means, it will tell you how a self-sufficient district was created, what its development, textile production technique, and the everyday lives of its workers looked like.
Łagiewnicki Forest is one of the largest city forests in Europe. Its area is around 1200 ha and it’s what is left in the city and surrounding areas from 200 years ago.
On the outskirts of the forest, right on the city’s limits, there is also the baroque St. Anthony’s church, one of the oldest temples in Lodz, where organ concerts are held. River Bzura flow and forms three quite large water bodies, the biggest recreational and leisure base in Lodz with a kayaking and rowing harbor.
Inside the forest, there are two baroque wooden chapels, St. Roch and St. Sebastian Chapel, and St. Anthony chapel, which is the oldest building of Lodz (75 Wycieczkowa Street).
Inside the chapel, there is a well with spring water which is considered miraculous.
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For 70 years now in Lodz, Se-ma-for studio producing animated films, cartoons for children as well as movies for adults. Even two productions won Oscar.
Learn how cartoons are made, see film decorations, and meet your favorite cartoon characters in a visit to the Museum of Cinematography. When visiting Lodz with children, it’s worth taking the tour of the fairytale Lodz.
The White Factory in Lodz
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Łódź was the largest textile industry center in Poland. The weaving museum idea was born in 1946. Six years later, the Weaving Department was created at the Łódź Art Museum.
White Factory hosts the Textile Museum
In 1955 the department already had its own headquarters – the Ludwig Geyer’s White Factory. An impressive complex of classicistic buildings, one of the most beautiful monuments of industrial architecture in Poland.
In 1975, the name of the institution was changed to the Central Museum of Textiles and in 2013 it was expanded, and henceforth the full name is the Central Museum of Textiles in Łódź.
Today is Europe's largest museum dedicated to textiles and all aspects of textile technology.
Main Point of Interest - The Ghetto
It was the second-largest ghetto in all the German-occupied Europe after the Warsaw Ghetto.
When Nazi Germany invaded Poland, they incorporated Lodz into the Greater German Reich. They renamed the city to Litzmannstadt, in honor of a German general, Karl Litzmann, who had led German forces back in 1914.
Over 180, 000 people were crowded into an area of only 4,13 kilometers in Baluty and the Old Town area. It was the most impoverished part of the city. The ghetto was officially sealed off from the rest of the city on May 1 of 1940.
The Lodz ghetto transformed into a major industrial center. Among other things, clothes for the Reich soldiers were manufactured there. It was the camp of slave work since it was created. Because of its remarkable productivity, the ghetto managed to survive until August 1944.
By Bundesarchiv, Bild 137-051639A
Under the leadership of Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, chairman of the Jewish Council of the Lodz Ghetto, the ghetto was turned into a working ghetto.
Rumkowski believed that if the ghetto provided goods for the Nazi war effort, its residents would be safe and deportations of Jews to killing centers could be averted.
Many of the ghetto inhabitants did not endure being locked up and inhuman conditions in which they were supposed to live and they died of cold, hunger, and exhaustion.
Also, part of them was transported to the extermination camps in Chełmno on Ner and Oświęcim-Brzezinka. Out of over 200 thousand Jews who went through the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, only 5 – 12 thousand survived (exact numbers are now known).
They are commemorated by the Survivors’ Park with the Monument of Poles Saving Jews, opened on the 60th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto. In the park, there are over 600 “memory trees” planted by those who survived the Litzmannstadt Ghetto.
The Lodz Ghetto Photographs by Henryk Ross
Henryk Rozencwaijg-Ross (1910-1991) was an official photographer for the ghetto’s Department of Statistics from 1940 to 1944. He was responsible for producing identity card photos for every resident, as well as promotional images of the ghetto’s administration and factories.
Born in Warsaw, Ross worked in Lodz as a press and sports photographer before the war. His position in the ghetto afforded him access to photographic equipment and film which he used to secretly document the atrocities of Lodz. He risked his life to do so.
Henryk Ross: «Having an official camera, I was able to capture all the tragic period in the Lodz Ghetto. I did it knowing that if I were caught my family and I would be tortured and killed.»
Explore the history of the Lodz Ghetto, Ross's photography as an act of resistance, and the contemporary connections we can make between his work and the importance of photography, art, and social media today.
The complexity of life in the Lodz Ghetto can be seen through thousands of photographs taken by Henryk Ross that show the everyday existence of the ghetto’s Jewish population.
Henryk Ross«I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy. I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom.»
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Jewish cemetery in Lodz
Lodz Jewish cemetery
The Jewish cemetery is the largest in Poland (nearly 40 ha) and one of the largest in Europe. Founded in 1892 and maintained by the donations of the Lodz community supported by wealthy industrialists, whose sumptuous tombs can be seen today.
During World War II, Jews from the Litzmannstadt Ghetto were buried in this cemetery and there is also a Ghetto Field with anonymous graves.
Radegast Station in Lodz
Radegast Station (Stacja Radogoszcz). Railway station where more than 140 000 people (mostly Jews) were deported to German concentration camps in Poland. The history of the Radegast Station dates back to the interwar period.
Radegast Station in Lodz
At that time, a goods passage was built, transformed during the Second World War into a station on which food and industrial materials were delivered to the ghetto. The station building was built in April 1941.
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