Lodz City is located in the centre of Poland, the sixth biggest country in European Union.
Lodz City, called Lodz (in Polish language "Łódź") is situated about 132 km south - west from the capital of Poland - Warsaw.
The coordinates of Lodz City are: 51°47′N and 19°28′E.
Until recently the Lodz's population of 767 000 of people (2006) has been Poland's second largest urban population after Warsaw and it was not until 2007 that it was outstripped by Cracow (Kraków).
Many of us associate Lodz with the textil industry only, and we are not in the wrong, because the city used to be called "the Polish Manchester". Not many people seem to know, however, that Lodz is Poland's largest Art Nouveau city, the child of four cultures: Polish, Russian, German and Jewish. It is the home town of number of eminent Poles, the host of world - recognized and valued universities and the main film industry centre in Poland.
What is more, the city has the largest woodland area among european cities and as many as 18 small rivers. It is the city of new technologies, the city of future. Major business players, who have decided to invest here include: LG Group, Gillette, Merloni Indesit, Bosch and Siemens, Dell, ABB, Shell, Coca - Cola, Fujitsu, Hutchinson, Multibank, mBank, Infosys, Ericpol Telecom have their registered offices here. Philips and Centralwings used to have theirs here as well. Soon the Lodz City is going to be in close vicinty of Poland's larget transport node - The East - West and The North - South motorway junction. All those keen on music may find it interesting that it was Lodz, where a number of popular Polish bands were established, for instance "Trubadurzy", "Varius Manx", "Blue Cafe" or "Ich Troje".
LITTLE ABOUT HISTORY OF THE CITY:
Lodz (Łódź), in the past was a small village called Lodzia (Łodzia). Lodzia, surrounded by forests and small rivers, was first time mentioned in 1332 in the document of Prince Władyslaw Ziemowic. In those days the Prince granted new privileges to some villages and the title to the villages was transferred to the Bishops of Włocławek. One of the villages was Lodzia.
The first parish in Łódź was established by the Bishop of Gniezno Jarosław Bogoria Skotnicki about the year 1371 and the first wooden church was built in the place of today’s Zgierska and Drewnowska Streets. In 1387 Łódź became the place of the village administrator’s office (sołectwo) according to another document in writing.
Łódź became a town quite late because municipal privileges were granted to Łódź in 1423 by King Władysław Jagiełło. There is very scarce information about Łódź from this period. We know that in 1496 the town was granted the privilege by King Jan Olbracht to have two fairgrounds. In 1515 there was the first parish school in the town. In 1520 Łódź had 70 houses and 5 mills and there were 93 families living there. According to the census of 1534 Łódź was described as a settlement having 100 inhabitants and 80 houses.
The years 1550-1650 were the period of the prosperity of agricultural Łódź. There were about 160 families living there, i.e. the settlement had the population between 650 and 800 inhabitants. In those years the activity of Bishop Hieronim Rozdrazewski contributed to the growth of the town. That friend of Łódź frequently visited the town, he cared for the development of the town, he supported the erection of the wooden town hall and he financed the construction of the old peoples shelter. Another person who is worth mentioning is Professor of Academy of Krakow (Akademia Krakowska) Paweł Rozkowic, born in Łódź, who devised 200 florins to his native town and he appropriated the interest on this amount to pay as grants to the students from Łódź studying at the Academy.
In the seventies of the 17th century the Łagiewniki Forest nearby Łódź was the place of miraculous revelations of St. Anthony. To commemorate this place in 1676 the construction of a wooden chapel named after St. Anthony was begun. The chapel has been there to this day and it is the oldest preserved monument of the past in Łódź In July 1680 the miracle of St. Anthony’s revelation was officially confirmed by the Apostolic See and Łagiewniki was recognised as the place of miracle through a papal privilege. The Saint always appeared in the Franciscan frock and therefore in November of that year the Franciscan Friars Monastery was established. The small chapel was moved to another place near the stream in the forest where it can be seen today. In the place of the revelations a wooden sanctuary with a monastery for twelve friars was built in 1682. The construction of a masonry, baroque church funded by offerings of numerous pilgrims was started in 1701 and completed in 1723. A solemn consecration was performed in May 1726 by the Archbishop of Gniezno Teodor Potocki. Nowadays the Łagiewniki Forest of 1205 ha in area is within the administrative boundaries of the City of Łódź and it is the largest city forest in Europe.
SITUATION OF LODZ CITY DURING TURBULENT HISTORY OF EUROPE IN XVIII AND XIX CENTURY:
The end of XVIII century was an inauspicious period of time in history of Poland.
The neighbouring world powers: Russia, Prussia, and Austria tried to scoop up the territory of weak Poland at all costs.
During less than 25 years world powers divided the territory of Poland three times contrary to Polish authorities. Each of the mentioned world powers in sneaky way or forcibly took a part of Poland and joined it to its own country (Partitions of Poland).
In 1772 Prussia insisted on Russia and Austria to take part in incursion into Poland and this way the First Partition of Poland took place. Poland lost 29% of its own territory. The territory of Poland decreased from 733 000 km square to 522 000 km square. But on the world map Poland was still existing, and inside reduced Poland there were still existing small Lodz City.
Due to the Second Partition of Poland made by Prussia and Russia in 1793, Poland lost next 308 000 km square, so a territory bigger than the territory of today's Italy. In these days Poland lost Lodz City as well, which since then was located within the territory of Prussia. The Prussian officials described with great accuracy the condition of the town in those days. According to the documents we find out that Łódź had 191 inhabitants including 180 Christians and 11 Jews.
After the Third Partition of Poland, Poland did not existed on map of World for next 123 years, and Łódź became part of Warsaw Department of Southern Prussia.
In a few years Europe became under domination or prevalence of Napoleon Bonaparte followed by endeavours of enslaved countries to regain an independence. In 1807 according to peacy treaty, Napoleon Bonaparte established the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. The efforts to restore the Polish nation almost reached the goal, but not really, because the Grand Duchy of Warsaw was not quite independent, it was still under foreigner's rules, but this times under French rules. So from 1807 Lodz City was situated in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw.
After Napoleon Bonaparte's defeat, during deliberations of the Congress of Vienna in May 1815, the world powers were talking about the future of Poland as well. According to arrangements, the Grand Duchy of Warsaw was terminated and in this place there were created totally new country - the Kingdom of Poland. The Kingdom of Poland was exactly the part of Russian Emipre and existed under stricted Russian rules. The free and independent Poland still did not exist. And after the Congress of Vienna, Łódź was annexed to the area of the Kingdom of Poland occupied by the Russians.
MIRACULOUS AND AMAZING DEVELOPMENT OF ŁÓDŹ:
Łódź was a place of no importance as a settlement until 1820. It had only 800 inhabitants and nothing announced its intense growth.
In 1820 the Government of the Kingdom of Poland began to promote the industrial development in Poland. The authorities saw great opportunities for Łódź because such towns as Ozorków and Aleksandrów situated nearby flourished rapidly. Łódź had a lot of clean rivers and there was plenty of wood for use as a building material. Moreover, Łódź was situated on the commercial tract connecting Łęczyca and Piotrków Trybunalski. Therefore, it was included in the group of industrial settlements which were guaranteed financial support by the authorities.
In September 1820 the decision was adopted on industrialisation of Łódź according to the project made by Rajmund Rembieliński, the Marshal of the lower house of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Poland (the Speaker of the lower house of the Polish Parliament - Sejm). Soon after that the plans of a new settlement were developed and the New Town (Nowe Miasto) area to the south of the existing town of Łodzia was delimited for handicraftsmen – cloth makers. Some time later another linen and cotton settlement of Łódka was established. The New Square (Nowy Rynek) area, at present Liberty Square (Plac Wolności) was demarcated and the former Piotrków Tract was changed into Piotrkowska Street.
Beginning from 1823 the gradual industry concentration followed. The manufacture of woolen, linen and cotton fabrics began. On the governmental initiative special houses for cloth makers were built. The factory owners were brought from Germany and the Czech lands. First manufactories owned by Kopisch and Geyer started to appear.
The Government exempted the cloth makers coming to Łódź from tax for 6 years, they were given land property for lease for 100 years and credit guarantees.
Oskar Flatt in his book published in 1853 lists a long collection of new regulations from that period. I would like to present a few of them:
“Each newly settling foreign cloth-maker shall have a farmland appointed and granted with 2-acres’ area for a plot, a construction site and a garden.”
“The first newly settling foreign factory owners shall receive timber for building their farms free of charge from the nearest government forests.”
“Bricks shall be sold from the town brickyard for a production price which shall not exceed 5 thalers for 1000 pieces.”
The results of the Government initiative were coming fast. During the first few months more than 10 weavers came to Łódź from Prussia. In 1823 more of them came from Zielona Góra. Tytus Kopisch, called the father of Łódź linen industry, brought one hundred weaver families from abroad to his factory. Manufactured goods were sold mainly to Russia but also as far as to China. Production rates were increasing every year. In 1829 factories produced twice as much cotton goods as in 1828 and eight times as much of them as in 1827. The development of the city was so impressive that Tsar Alexander I of Russia visited it himself.
However, after the failure of the November Uprising in 1831, markets in Russia were closed and export to Prussia was more difficult. The development of linen factories was considerably limited. Industry in Łódź slowly switched to cotton. Ludwik Geyer, one of the pioneers of cotton industry in Łódź, made good use of the great demand for cotton. In 1828 he moved to Łódź with his father, encouraged by numerous privileges granted by the Government. In 1835 he built his “White Factory” along Piotrkowska Street. It was a self-sufficient company with all production departments and the greatest cotton factory in the Kingdom of Poland. The first steam machine was installed there. At present, Ludwik Geyer’s factory buildings house the Central Museum of Textiles.
In 1851 customs barriers between Russia and Poland were abolished. After 1863 cheap labour became available as a result of granting freehold to peasants. Modern production companies of great industrialists came to existence. The richest and most powerful families included Grohmans, Scheiblers and Poznańskis.
Grohmans came to Poland around 1820 from Saxony. Initially, they ran their business in Zgierz. However, the father of the family Traugott Grohman moved to Łódź after his son Ludwik had been born. He received plots near Tylna and Targowa Streets for lease for one hundred years, where he quickly built a cotton mill. His work was continued by Ludwik. He expanded the factory and he was first to establish a company fire brigade. He transformed his factory into the Ludwik Grohman Company. Together with Karol Scheibler, he supported the construction of a homeless shelter (today it is a building of Collegium Anatomicum of the Medical University). He also put a lot of effort into the establishment of the Trade Bank (Bank Handlowy). After Ludwik had died, his son Henryk took over the factory. He built a new mill in Targowa Street; its entrance is so-called Grohman’s Barrels (Beczki Grohmanowskie), which are famous until this day. In 1921 there was a merger of Grohman’s and Scheibler’s factories and the United Industrial Company of Karol Scheibler and Ludwik Grohman was created. It employed over 8000 workers and was among the greatest companies in Europe at that time. The company survived the world crisis in the 1930s owing to assistance from the Government and especially from Minister Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski. After the Second World War the company was transformed into the Peace Defenders’ Company “Uniontex” (Zakłady Obrońców Pokoju Uniontex).
Karol Scheibler came from Rhineland. He moved to Poland in 1848 by coincidence. During that time the whole Europe, except for Scandinavia and Great Britain, was shaken by the Europeran Revolution called the Spring of Nations. Young Scheibler was in Austria at that moment. He was expelled from the country because he had double Belgian-Prussian nationality, what was deemed suspicious. He came to Poland and worked for his uncle in Ozorków. He married Anna Werner who came from a rich family. In 1853, as a 33-year-old man, he moved to Łódź. He received a plot at the Water Market (Wodny Rynek – now Plac Zwycięstwa Victory Square) for lease for one hundred years. There, he built a spinning mill, called “The Central Factory”, two weaving mills and a finishing company. Owing to modern technology he quickly defeated competition. Soon he started the construction of a palace at the Water Market, according to the design by Edward Lilpop. It was completed in 1884. Now the building houses the Museum of Cinematography. Scheibler opened the next factory in Księży Młyn. In its neighbourhood he built settlements for his workers. The district had its own power station, gasworks, hospital, theatre stage, sports stadium and factory orchestra. His eldest daughter married the young engineer Edward Herbst. As a wedding present, the newlyweds received a new villa at Przędzalniana Street, which was built in 1877 according to the design by Hilary Majewski. In 1880 Scheibler was second to none in Łódź and he took a second place in the Kingdom of Poland, employing over 5000 workers. He died in 1881 and he was buried in the Evangelical Cemetery in Łódź. In 1885, after his death, the construction of the palace at 266/268 Piotrkowska Street was completed. It was designed by Hilary Majewski and it was intended for his other daughters. Karol Scheibler co-financed the construction of St. Cross Church (Kościół Św. Krzyża) and St. John’s Church (Kościół Św. Jana). The Scheiblers contributed to the construction of an Orthodox church, Our Lady of Assumption Church (Kościół Wniebowzięcia NMP), and Łódź Cathedral. Scheibler’s son-in-law, Edward Herbst, with his wife Matylda founded the first paediatric hospital in Łódź, which was called after their daughter Anna Maria. It exists until this day; it is Korczak Hospital in Piłsudski Street. The last years of 19th century saw the peak of Scheibler’s factories development. New departments were created in Kiliński Street and manufactured goods were of highest quality. Strikes, the revolution and the First World War resulted in the merger of Scheiblers’ and Grohmans’ fortunes.
Izrael Poznański was a son of a Jewish cloth seller from Aleksandrów Łódzki. In 1871 he came to Łódź and bought plots in Ogrodowa street, where he began the construction of his factory. Nearby, following Scheibler’s example, he built houses for workers. He paid for the construction of a hospital for Jews; it is the present Radliński Orthopaedic Hospital. He built a few great palaces. The first of them, intended for his daughter Anna and her husband Jakub Hertz, houses the rector’s office of the Medical University of Łódź. The second palace, for his son, Karol, is a residence of the Academy of Music in Łódź. The greatest palace, called “the Louvre of Łódź” and located in Ogrodowa street, was completed after his death. At that moment his son, Maurycy, became the factory director. After the Second World War the factory was nationalized and it became J. Marchlewski Factory POLTEX. In 1989 it went into liquidation. Now it houses the culture-entertainment-trade complex of Manufaktura.
In the history of Łódź one can notice very interesting phenomena, to be more precise a quick demographic development, which is unique in Europe and characteristic only of American cities. As I have mentioned before, in 1820 Łódź community consisted of 800 people. In 1825 Łódź had 1004 inhabitants. In 1900, 280 000 people lived in Łódź, out of whom 38% were German, 33% Polish, 28.5% Jewish, and app. 0.5% Russian. In 1914 there were as many as 580 000 inhabitants in Łódź. This means that during less than 100 years the number of Łódź population increased 725 times; from 1820 to 1978 it increased over 1000 times, from 800 to over 825 000 people.
THE DIFFICULT XX CENTURY:
The twentieth century also saw many events which were important to Łódź.
In 1901 the great writer and the Nobel Prize Winner Henryk Sienkiewicz came to the city accompanied by a famous painter Henryk Siemiradzki. They came to Łódź to take part in a ceremonial opening of the new Great Theatre (Teatr Wielki). The building was constructed at 14 Konstantynowska Street and it had a capacity of 1300. It was the greatest theatre in Poland at that time. Sienkiewicz and Siemiradzki were received very affectionately by the citizens of Łódź, who awaited them at Fabryczny Railway Station. From the station they were taken by a cab to the Grand Hotel for breakfast. They were also invited to visit Anna Scheibler at Water Market and to visit the sons of Izrael Poznański. Henryk Sienkiewicz came to Łódź again in 1904. He was then collecting for flood victims. Sienkiewicz died in 1916 in Switzerland. After his death a mass was celebrated in the Łódź Cathedral. It was said by Father Tymieniecki, who later became the first Bishop of Łódź. In honour of Henryk Sienkiewicz, the city authorities named Mikołajewska Street (the former Świętokrzyska Street) and the adjacent park after the writer. These names remained until this day. The mentioned Great Theatre burnt to the ground in 1920.
In 1909 first electric street lamps in New City Market (Rynek Nowego Miasta) and a section of Piotrkowska Street were connected to the city network.
In 1915 the villages of Bałuty and of Chojny Nowe were included into the city; Bałuty had 100 000 inhabitants and Chojny Nowe had 30 000 of them. These were one of the biggest villages in the history of the world settlements.
In 1918 Poland regained independence. In November the citizens of Łódź disarmed the Germans.
On the 19th of December, 1920 Pope Benedict XV established a diocese in Łódź, which was the first one in independent Poland. Father Tymieniecki became the Bishop and St. Stanisław Kostka Church was renamed as a cathedral.
In 1922 Łódź became a the capital city of the region (województwo). In the same year, a tram line between Łódź and Ozorków was launched. Initially this was a steam line; it was electrified in 1926. It exists until this day and it is the longest tram line in Europe.
In 1927 300 meters of asphalt surface was laid in Piotrkowska Street which as the first street in Łódź was given this honour.
On the 1st of September, 1939 the Second World War started. On the 2nd of September the first bombs hit Łódź. On the 9th of September German troops marched into the city. The German occupation of the city lasted until the 19th of January, 1945. During that time the Germans changed the name of the city to Litzmannstadt. Piotrkowska Street was renamed as Adolf Hitler Strasse and today’s Kościuszki Avenue was renamed as Herman Goering Strasse. The monument of Tadeusz Kościuszko was removed from Liberty Square (Plac Wolności). The Germans established a concentration camp and a police prison for men in Radogoszcz and a ghetto for Jews. During the night of 17th of January, 1945 the retreating Nazis burnt the prison in Radogoszcz. About 2000 prisoners were killed in fire. On 19th of January armoured Russian troops entered Łódź from the direction of Rokicińska Street.
The national census states that Łódź had 497 000 inhabitants in 1946. According to data from April 1947 as many as 553 663 people lived in Łódź at that time.
In the period from 1945 to 1948 Łódź was the second city in Poland, after Cracow, concerning its dynamic literary and scientific development. Numerous publishing houses were established during this period. In 1945 the University of Łódź was founded as well as the National Institute of Drama Arts, which is now the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre. In 1967 the newly-constructed Great Theatre was opened at Dąbrowski Square.
In March 1983 during his visit to Łódź, Prime Minister General Wojciech Jaruzelski announced his decision about the construction of the modern hospital in the city, the Polish Mother’s Memorial Hospital Research Institute. This hospital, built on the area of 36 ha, admitted its first patient in 1989. It is still one of the most advanced gynaecological and obstetric hospitals in Poland. In the ranking of "Wprost Magazine" from 2005 it took the second place in the country.
On 13th June 1987 the Polish Pope John Paul II visited Łódź. He celebrated a mass on the Łódź Lublinek Airport. During this mass 1515 children made their First Communion. After the mass the Pope met with weavers in the Cotton Industry Company “Uniontex” in Kiliński Street, which formerly belonged to Scheiblers.
YEAR 1989 - YEAR OF HOPE:
In January 1989 during the 10th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Polish United Worker’s Party the decision was made about the beginning of the Polish Round Table Talks.
On the 4th of June of 1989 the first partial free ballot in the Parliamentary election took place; the second ballot was organized on 18th of June. On 24th of August Tadeusz Mazowiecki became Prime Minister.
Łódź slowly started changing its image, first time there were established foreign currency exchange offices in the city (it was prohibited before 1989) and many other private shops appeared everywhere.
The Juventus Department Store was opened. Despite new reality, the city tried to stick to its textile past.
The Third International Fair of Clothes, Fabric, Knitting Industry and Leather Products ‘Interfashion 89’ was organized. In November the Wool Auction took place. In the same year the Piotrkowska Street Foundation was established, which was intended to promote the main street of the city.
Unfortunately, restructuring of industry and crisis in Russia at the beginning of 1990s resulted in a decrease of production rates in the textile sector. Large companies were closed, what was inevitably connected with growing unemployment rates in Łódź (17.8% in 2001).
In March 1992 our Pope John Paul II gave the diocese of Łódź the rank of archdiocese. In September 1993 the works began consisting in cobbling Piotrkowska Street from Mickiewicz Avenue to Tuwim Street. During this period the first commercial regional radio station in Łódź “Manhattan” was established as well. In September 1994 the Saspol Department Store was opened in the main street of the city. In 1995 the renovation of Piotrkowska Street was continued from Tuwim Street to Narutowicz Street. That year the modern Expo Hall at 30 Stefanowski Street was put into use as well.
Near Łódź, in Rzgów, close to A-1 route, covered markets of a new trade centre began to emerge. In this large square with tin buildings similar to air hangars, clothing trade started to develop. With time this place became the best-known market among Polish people and guests from the East.
On 17th of June, 1998 in the special Resolution the City Council of Łódź acknowledged “Prząśniczka”’ as the anthem of the city. On the 29th of July of the same year the anthem was officially played for the first time from the balcony of the City of Łódź Office. On the same day the monument in the form of a stone was unveiled in Old City Square (Rynek Starego Miasta). It commemorates the event of granting Łódź municipal rights by King Władysław Jagiełło.
In 1999, in Piotrkowska Street near the City of Łódź Office, a monument of a poet from Łódź was unveiled. It is called “Tuwim’s Bench” and it started “The Gallery of Great People of Łódź”. It is the collection of sculptures presenting famous people connected with Łódź. They stand in Piotrkowska Street. In 2000 the Gallery was increased with “Rubinstein’s Piano” and in 2001 – with “Reymont’s Chest’.
Every year, starting from 2000, at the end of November and the beginning of December, the greatest International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE takes place in Łódź. The Festival includes film screenings and meetings with cameramen and directors. Prizes for cameramen are awarded and these are the Gold Frog, the Silver Frog, and the Bronze Frog. The prizes for students are called the Gold Tadpole, the Silver Tadpole and the Bronze Tadpole.
In January 2001 a modern multi cinema “Silver Screen” was opened in Łódź. The complex contains 20 halls and it is the first investment of this type in Łódź. Apart from film screenings, numerous meetings and scientific conferences take place there. In the same year, the largest wall graffiti in the world was created on the side wall of the building at 152 Piotrkowska Street. It took over 1000 cans of paint to create it. The record was entered into the Guinness World Records.
Every year from 2002 the Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures takes place in Łódź. During a few days in August and September the most interesting achievements of Polish, Russian, German and Jewish cultures are presented. After all, our city was built by these four nationalities. In 19th century Łódź showed that different cultures may co-exist and may benefit from one another instead of trying to destroy one another.
October 2002 begins the period of fascination for the newly opened Łódź Gallery (Galeria Łódzka). The modern object in Piłsudski Avenue is a four-storey building with a multi-storey car park and a surface area of 40 000 square meters. Łódź dwellers were looking forward to getting such a Christmas present. Gallery is situated in the centre of the city. It is easily accessible and it houses shops of new brands, branches of which had not been present in Łódź before. Strolls in Gallery became fashionable as well as eating family lunch in one of its numerous restaurants. The building was given an award in 2002 by the Polish Architects Association. In 2004 the International Council of Shopping Centres gave it the European Shopping Centre Award for the best shopping centre.
In the same month a fourth monument of the “Gallery of Great People of Łódź” was erected in Piotrkowska Street. It is titled “The Creators of Industrial Łódź”’ and it presents three greatest factory owners of Łódź, to be more precise Grohman, Scheibler and Poznański, talking at the table.
In 2003 the ceremony of unveiling “The Monument of Łódź Dwellers at the Turn of Millennia” took place. The Monument is formed by plates with names of people living in Łódź in this period. The plates are placed in Piotrkowska Street.
ŁÓDŹ BECOME ONE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CITIES:
On the 1st of May, 2004 Poland became a member of the European Union. People of Łódź celebrated this event in the Old City Market. One of the guests was the music band Various Manx. They performed their song ‘Orła cień’ (“The Shadow of an Eagle”). In June the Office of Łódź Promotion was opened in Brussels. The event was an opportunity to promote our city and region in the capital city of the European Union.
On the 17th of May, 2006 the greatest the culture-entertainment-trade centre in Poland “Manufaktura” was opened in Łódź in the old buildings of Izrael Poznański’s factory. So far it has been the largest revitalized complex in Europe. It includes about 250 shops and boutiques, 2 hypermarkets, and 60 restaurants as well as a large entertainment centre with CINEMA CITY. This centre is popular not only with people of Łódź, but also with tourists from abroad.
In June of the same year the latest monument of the “Gallery of Great People of Łódź” was unveiled. It is “Jaracz’s Chair” and it is situated at the end of the promenade, near Mickiewicz Avenue.
In 2009 the European Basketball Championships and European Women Volleyball Championships were organized in Poland. Many matches took place in Łódź. The construction of the new sports and entertainment Arena between Bandurski Avenue and Unii Lubelskiej Avenue had been completed. Together with an aqua park situated in place of the former "Fala" and with a park in "Zdrowie", it is the largest recreational complex in Łódź.
Łódź was an excellent candidate to obtain the title of the European Capital of Culture in 2016, but unfortunately Łodź did not reach that goal and Wroclaw City (Wroclaw) obtained that title.
A lot of well-known people are connected with Łódź, including the following:
Artur Rubinstein – one of the world-famous pianists, he was born in Łódź in a house in Piotrkowska Street;
Julian Tuwim – a well-known poet, he also spent his childhood in Łódź and he returned to the city after the Second World War,
Józef Piłsudski – Chief of State of Poland, he lived in Łódź and he was imprisoned here by the tsarist army (Russian Army);
Jan Izydor Sztaudynger – a poet and a comedian, he worked in the National Drama School of the Puppet Theatre in Łódź,
Jan Witold Moll – physician, cardiac surgeon, he made the first attempt to transplant a heart in Poland in 1969 and he was the first one who perform coronary artery bypass graft in Poland as well;
Jan Machulski – an actor, director, teacher, the Dean of the Acting Department;
Jan Tomaszewski – a goalkeeper of the Polish Football Team during the Football World Championships in 1974 and 1978,
Zbigniew Boniek – a football player, a member of the Polish Football Team during the Football World Championships in 1974, 1982 and 1986,
Jan Paweł II – Polish Pope, he visited Lodz on 13 June 1987. The Holy Father celebrated a mass on the Łódź Lublinek Airport. During this mass 1515 children made their First Communion. After the mass the Pope met with weavers in the Cotton Industry Company “Uniontex”. Honourable Freeman of Lodz City. He was beatified on 01 May 2011,
Lech Kaczyński – President of the Republic of Poland, professor, associated with Lodz since his childhood. As a thirteen - year - old teenager, together with his brother, they played a lead role in a movie that was filmed in Lodz City and entitled „O dwóch takich, co ukradli księżyc” ("About those two who stole the moon", 1962). As the President of Poland, he still remained the friend of Lodz and he often visited our city,
Andrzej Udalski – professor of astronomy of University of Warsaw, one of the most outstanding Polish astronomers, co - author of extrasolar planet systems and first events of gravitational microlensing in the Galaxy. He was born in Lodz City and here he graduated VIII High School of Adam Asnyk,
Marek Belka – the Polish Prime Minister from 2004 to 2005;
Łukasz Płoszajski – an actor, he was born in Łódź, he graduated from the Acting Department of the Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź.
Jerzy Janowicz – very well announced Polish tennis player, he was born on 13 November 1990 in Łódż.
Marcin Janusz Gortat – basketball player, he was a representative of Poland and the player of well - known American Club - Orlando Magic. He was born in Lodz, he graduated Technical Institute here. He was an alumnus of Łódź Sports Club as well. First Pole, who was playing in NBA (National Basketball Association) American League, and who advanced to its final,
It can be said that during last years Łódź has become fashionable again. Today, people from all over the world come to our city. We have direct air connections with London, Manchester, Dublin, Rome, and Paris. More and more frequently one can hear English or French conversations in Piotrkowska Street. Not only adults come to the city with guided tours. Young English and Irish people come to famous pubs of Łódź; children come here for summer and sport camps. There are people who come to stay for several years. More and more foreigners decide to study in Łódź. New university departments are created for those who wish to study in English. For example, in the Medical University of Łódź there are students from Taiwan, Brazil, USA, Canada, and Chile. The Technical University of Łódź invites foreign students to summer training during holidays. More and more tours come to the city to visit Manufaktura; more and more foreigners living in Łódź learn Polish. This is only the beginning of the rebirth. New investments will be made, new workplaces will be created.
Although the history of Łódź began in the 14th century, one may say that everything started in the 19th century. It was then that Łódź experienced its economic miracle. Despite the foreign rule and repressions after the November Uprising and the January Uprising, the development of Łódź still continued. We, people of Łódź, should be grateful to some dignitaries of the Government of the Kingdom of Poland, for example to Rajmund Rembieliński, for their idea and initiative to win foreign investors and bring foreign capital. Owing to this idea, the small town developed into today’s metropolis.