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?ód?

Lodz  (English)
Manufaktura panorama ?ód?.jpg
Masa 2013 07.jpg
?ód? - Pa?ac Izraela Pozna?skiego.jpg
Willa Szaji ?wiat?owskiego - Ruda Pabianicka.JPG
?ód? Fabryczna - wej?cie na dworzec (1).JPG
?ód? - Pa?ac Alfreda Biedermanna. - panoramio (2).jpg
Motto(s): 
Ex navicula navis ("From a boat a ship")
?ód? is located in ?ód? Voivodeship
?ód?
?ód?
Location of ?ód? in ?ód? Voivodeship
?ód? is located in Poland
?ód?
?ód?
?ód? (Poland)
Coordinates: 51°46?37?N 19°27?17?E / 51.77694°N 19.45472°E / 51.77694; 19.45472Coordinates: 51°46?37?N 19°27?17?E / 51.77694°N 19.45472°E / 51.77694; 19.45472
Country Poland
Voivodeship ?ód?
Countycity county
City Rights1423
Government
 o MayorHanna Zdanowska (PO)
Area
 o City293.25 km2 (113.22 sq mi)
Highest elevation
278 m (912 ft)
Lowest elevation
162 m (531 ft)
Population
(30 June 2019)
 o City682,679 Decrease (3rd)[1]
 o Metro
1,100,000
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 o Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
90-001 to 94-413
Area code(s)+48 42
Car platesEL
Websitewww.uml.lodz.pl

?ód? (Polish: [wut?] ; also written in English as Lodz)[a] is the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial hub. Located in the central part of the country, it has a population of 682,679 (2019).[1] It is the capital of ?ód? Voivodeship, and is located approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-west of Warsaw.[6] The city's coat of arms is an example of canting, as it depicts a boat (?ód? in Polish), which alludes to the city's name.

?ód? was once a small settlement that first appeared in written records in around 1332. In the early 15th century it was granted city rights, but remained a rather small and insubstantial town. It was the property of Kuyavian bishops and clergy until the end of the 18th century, when ?ód? was annexed by Prussia as a result of the second partition of Poland. Following the collapse of the independent Duchy of Warsaw, the city became part of Congress Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire. It was then that ?ód? experienced rapid growth in the cloth industry and in population due to the inflow of migrants, most notably Germans and Jews. Ever since the industrialization of the area, the city has struggled with many difficulties such as multinationalism and social inequality, which were vividly documented in the novel The Promised Land written by Polish Nobel Prize-winning author W?adys?aw Reymont. The contrasts greatly reflected on the architecture of the city, where luxurious mansions coexisted with redbrick factories and old tenement houses.[7]

After Poland regained its independence in 1918, ?ód? grew to be one of the largest Polish cities and one of the most multicultural and industrial centers in Europe. The interbellum period saw rapid development in education and healthcare. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the German Army captured the city and renamed it Litzmannstadt in honour of the German general Karl Litzmann, who was victorious near the area during World War I. The city's large Jewish population was forced into a walled zone known as the ?ód? Ghetto, from which they were sent to German concentration and extermination camps. Following the occupation of the city by the Soviet Army, ?ód?, which sustained insignificant[8] damage during the war, became part of the newly established Polish People's Republic.

After years of prosperity during the socialist era, ?ód? experienced decline after the fall of communism throughout Central and Eastern Europe; however, it is currently experiencing revitalization of its downtown area.[9][10] The city is also internationally known for its National Film School, a cradle for the most renowned Polish actors and directors, including Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polanski,[7] and in 2017 was inducted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and named UNESCO City of Film.[11]

History

Sigillum oppidi Lodzia - seal dating back to 1577

?ód? first appears in the written record in a 1332 document giving the village of ?odzia to the bishops of W?oc?awek. In 1423 King W?adys?aw II Jagieo officially granted city rights to the village of ?ód?. From then until the 18th century the town remained a small settlement on a trade route between the provinces of Masovia and Silesia. In the 16th century the town had fewer than 800 inhabitants, mostly working on the surrounding grain farms.

With the second partition of Poland in 1793, ?ód? became part of the Kingdom of Prussia's province of South Prussia, and was known in German as Lodsch. In 1798 the Prussians nationalised the town, and it lost its status as a town of the bishops of Kuyavia. In 1806 ?ód? joined the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsaw and in 1810 it had approximately 190 inhabitants. After the 1815 Congress of Vienna treaty it became part of the Congress Kingdom of Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire.

Century of partitions: 1815 Congress of Vienna

Synagogue
The Great Synagogue was the main prayer house for the local Jewish community. It was destroyed during World War II
Tenement house of Mieczys?aw Pinkus in ?ód?, ca. 1986
Many tenement houses often reflected the social status of owners and industrialists

In the 1815 treaty, it was planned to renew the dilapidated town and with the 1816 decree by the Czar a number of German immigrants received territory deeds for them to clear the land and to build factories and housing. Their incentives for settlement included "exemption from tax obligations for a period of six years, free materials to build houses, perpetual lease of land for construction, exemption from military service or duty-free transport of the immigrants' livestock."[12] In 1820 Stanis?aw Staszic aided in changing the small town into a modern industrial centre. The immigrants came to the Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, the city's nickname) from all over Europe. Mostly they arrived from Saxony, Silesia and Bohemia, but also from countries as far away as Portugal, England, France and Ireland.[] The first cotton mill opened in 1825, and 14 years later the very first steam-powered factory in both Poland and the Russian Empire commenced operations. In 1839, over 78% of the population was German,[13] and German schools and churches were established.

A constant influx of workers, businessmen and craftsmen from all over Europe transformed ?ód? into the main textile production centre of the mighty Russian Empire spanning from East-Central Europe all the way to Alaska. As long as the town was small, the majority of the town's population was German speaking.[14] Three groups then dominated the city's population and contributed the most to the city's development: Germans, Poles, and Jews, who started to arrive from 1848. Many of the ?ód? craftspeople were weavers from Upper and Lower Silesia.

In 1850, Russia abolished the customs barrier between Congress Poland and Russia proper and therefore industry in ?ód? could now develop freely with a huge Russian market not far away. Eventually the city became the second-largest city of Congress Poland. In 1865 the first railroad line opened (to Koluszki, branch line of the Warsaw-Vienna railway), and soon the city had rail links with Warsaw and Bia?ystok.

Izrael Pozna?ski Factory
Izrael Pozna?ski Factory in 1895
Liberty Square in ?ód? during World War II
Liberty Square pictured during the Second World War. The statue of Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko was later dismantled by the German army

One of the most important industrialists of ?ód? was Karl Wilhelm Scheibler.[15] In 1852 he came to ?ód? and with Julius Schwarz together started buying property and building several factories. Scheibler later bought out Schwarz's share and thus became sole owner of a large business. After he died in 1881 his widow and other members of the family decided to pay homage to his memory by erecting a chapel, intended as a mausoleum with family crypt, in the Lutheran part of the ?ód? cemetery on ulica Ogrodowa (later known as The Old Cemetery).[16]

Between 1823 and 1873, the city's population doubled every ten years. The years 1870-1890 marked the period of most intense industrial development in the city's modern history. Many of the industrialists were of Jewish ethnicity. ?ód? also soon became a major centre of the socialist movement. In 1892 a huge strike paralyzed most of the factories and manufacturing plants. According to the Russian census of 1897, in which ?ód? figured as the fifth-largest city of the Russian Empire,[17] out of the total population of 315,000, Jews constituted 99,000 (around 31% percent).[18] During the 1905 Revolution, in what became known as the June Days or ?ód? insurrection, Tsarist police killed hundreds of workers.[19] By 1913, the Poles constituted almost half of the population (49.7%), the German minority had fallen to 14.8%, and the Jews made up 34%, out of some 506,000 inhabitants.[13]

Historical population
Year Inhabitants
1793 190
1806 767
1830 4,300
1850 15,800
1880 77,600
1905 343,900
1925 538,600
1988 854,261
2003 781,900
2007 753,192
2009 742,387
2013 715,360
2016 698,688

Despite the air of impending crisis preceding World War I, the city grew constantly until 1914. By that year it had become one of the most densely populated as well as one of the most polluted industrial cities in the world--13,280 inhabitants per square kilometre (34,400/sq mi). A major battle was fought near the city in late 1914, and as a result the city came under German occupation after 6 December[20][21][22] but with Polish independence restored in November 1918 the local population liberated the city and disarmed the German troops. In the aftermath of World War I, ?ód? lost approximately 40% of its inhabitants, mostly owing to draft, diseases, pollution and primarily because of the mass expulsion of the city's German population back to Germany.

Restored Poland after the First World War

In 1922, following the establishment of the Second Polish Republic, ?ód? became the capital of the ?ód? Voivodeship, but the period of rapid growth had ceased. The Great Depression of the 1930s and the Customs war with Germany closed western markets to Polish textiles while the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) and the Civil War in Russia (1918-1922) put an end to the most profitable trade with the East. The city became a scene of a series of huge workers' protests and riots in the interbellum.

On 13 September 1925 a new airport, Lublinek Airport, began operations on the outskirts of the city. In the interwar years ?ód? continued to be a diverse and multicultural city, with the 1931 Polish census showing that the total population of roughly 604,000 included 375,000 (59%) Poles, 192,000 (32%) Jews and 54,000 (9%) Germans (determined from the main language used). By 1939, the Jewish minority had grown to well over 200,000.[23]

Occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany

Memorial to Holocaust victims at Radegast railway station

During the invasion of Poland, the Polish forces of General Juliusz Rómmel's ?ód? Army defended the city against initial German attacks.[24] The Wehrmacht nevertheless captured the city on 8 September.[24] Despite plans for the city to become a Polish enclave attached to the General Government, the Nazi hierarchy respected the wishes of many ethnically German residents and of the Reichsgau Wartheland governor Arthur Greiser by annexing the city to the Reich in November 1939. Many Germans in the city, however, refused to sign the Volksliste and become Volksdeutsche; they were deported by the General Government. The city was given the new name of "Litzmannstadt" after Karl Litzmann, the German general who had captured it during World War I.

?ód? Ghetto, Ghetto Litzmannstadt, was the second-largest ghetto in all of German-occupied Europe

The Nazi authorities soon established the ?ód? Ghetto (Ghetto Litzmannstadt) in the city and populated it with more than 200,000 Jews from the ?ód? area.[25][26][27][28][29][30] As Jews were deported from Litzmannstadt for extermination, others were brought in.[28][30] Several concentration camps and death camps arose in the city's vicinity for the non-Jewish inhabitants of the regions, among them the infamous Radogoszcz prison and several minor camps for the Romani people and for Polish children.[25][28][30] Due to the value of the goods that the ghetto population produced for the German military and various civilian contractors, it was the last major ghetto to be liquidated, in August 1944.[30]

While occupied, thousands of new ethnic German Volksdeutsche came to ?ód? from all across Europe, many of whom were repatriated from Russia during the time of Hitler's alliance with the Soviet Union before Operation Barbarossa. In January 1945, most of the German population fled the city for fear of the Red Army. The city also suffered tremendous losses due to the German policy of requisition of all factories and machines and transporting them to Germany. Thus, despite relatively small losses due to fighting and aerial bombardment, ?ód? was deprived of most of its industrial infrastructure.

Prior to World War II, ?ód?'s Jewish community numbered around 233,000 and accounted for one-third of the city's total population.[29][31] The community was almost entirely wiped out in the Holocaust.[29][31] By the end of the war, the city and its environs had lost approximately 420,000 of its pre-war inhabitants, including approximately 300,000 Polish Jews.[29][31][32]

Izrael Pozna?ski's tomb at the New Jewish Cemetery in ?ód? is one of the largest of its kind in the world

On 1 August 1944 the Warsaw Uprising erupted, and the fate of the remaining inhabitants of the ?ód? Ghetto was sealed. During the last phase of its existence, some 25,000 inmates were murdered at Che?mno; their bodies burned immediately after death.[33][34] As the front approached, German officials decided to deport the remaining Jews to Auschwitz-Birkenau aboard Holocaust trains. A handful of people were left alive in the ghetto to clean it up.[35] Others remained in hiding with the Polish rescuers.[36] When the Soviet army entered ?ód? on 19 January 1945, only 877 Jews were still alive, 12 of whom were children.[27] Of the 223,000 Jews in ?ód? before the invasion, only 10,000 survived the Holocaust in other places.[31]

The Soviet Red Army entered the city on 18 January 1945. According to Marshal Katukov, whose forces participated in the operation, the Germans retreated so suddenly that they had no time to evacuate or destroy any of the factories, as they had in other cities.[37] ?ód? subsequently became part of the Polish People's Republic.

After World War II in the Polish People's Republic

Fountain on D?browski Square

At the end of World War II, ?ód? had fewer than 300,000 inhabitants. However the number began to grow as refugees from Warsaw and territories annexed by the Soviet Union migrated. Until 1948 the city served as a de facto capital of Poland, since events during and after the Warsaw Uprising had thoroughly destroyed Warsaw, and most of the government and country administration resided in ?ód?. Some planned moving the capital there permanently; however, this idea did not gain popular support and in 1948 the reconstruction of Warsaw began.

Under the Polish Communist regime many of the rich industrialist and business magnate families lost their wealth when the authorities nationalised private companies. Once again the city became a major centre of industry. A number of extensive panel block housing estates (including Retkinia, Teofilów, Widzew, Radogoszcz and Chojny) were constructed between 1960 and 1990, covering an area of almost 30 square kilometres (12 sq mi) and accommodating a large part of the city's population.[38] In mid-1981 ?ód? became famous for its massive hunger demonstration of local mothers and their children.[39][40][41] In 1988 the population of the city peaked to 854,261, gradually dropping ever since.[42] After the period of economic transition during the 1990s, most enterprises were again privatised.

Geography

Climate

?ód? has a humid continental climate (Dfb in the Köppen climate classification).

Climate data for ?ód?
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 12.8
(55.0)
17.5
(63.5)
23.8
(74.8)
29.9
(85.8)
32.7
(90.9)
36.3
(97.3)
37.3
(99.1)
37.6
(99.7)
34.7
(94.5)
27.8
(82.0)
19.2
(66.6)
14.9
(58.8)
37.6
(99.7)
Average high °C (°F) 0.5
(32.9)
2.0
(35.6)
6.8
(44.2)
13.4
(56.1)
19.0
(66.2)
21.5
(70.7)
24.0
(75.2)
23.7
(74.7)
18.3
(64.9)
12.6
(54.7)
5.9
(42.6)
1.8
(35.2)
12.5
(54.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) -1.6
(29.1)
-0.7
(30.7)
3.1
(37.6)
8.7
(47.7)
13.9
(57.0)
16.5
(61.7)
18.9
(66.0)
18.5
(65.3)
13.8
(56.8)
8.9
(48.0)
3.6
(38.5)
0.0
(32.0)
8.6
(47.5)
Average low °C (°F) -3.6
(25.5)
-3.3
(26.1)
-0.5
(31.1)
4.0
(39.2)
8.8
(47.8)
11.6
(52.9)
13.8
(56.8)
13.3
(55.9)
9.3
(48.7)
5.2
(41.4)
1.2
(34.2)
-1.9
(28.6)
4.8
(40.6)
Record low °C (°F) -31.1
(-24.0)
-28.9
(-20.0)
-21.1
(-6.0)
-8
(18)
-3.1
(26.4)
1.4
(34.5)
5.0
(41.0)
3.3
(37.9)
0.8
(33.4)
-9.2
(15.4)
-16.8
(1.8)
-20.8
(-5.4)
-31.1
(-24.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 40.7
(1.60)
36.3
(1.43)
39.7
(1.56)
33.5
(1.32)
63.5
(2.50)
65.2
(2.57)
90.0
(3.54)
56.5
(2.22)
42.1
(1.66)
37.6
(1.48)
40.8
(1.61)
35.9
(1.41)
582
(22.9)
Average precipitation days 17 15 14 11 14 14 14 12 11 12 14 16 166
Mean monthly sunshine hours 41 62 120 190 245 249 247 236 163 115 50 36 1,753
Source: [43]

Districts

?ód? was previously subdivided into five boroughs (dzielnica): Ba?uty, Widzew, ?ródmie?cie, Polesie, Górna.

However, the city is now divided into 36 osiedla (districts): Ba?uty-Centrum, Ba?uty-Do?y, Ba?uty Zachodnie, Julianów-Marysin-Rogi, ?agiewniki, Radogoszcz, Teofilów-Wielkopolska, Osiedle Wzniesie? ?ódzkich, Chojny, Chojny-D?browa, Górniak, Nad Nerem, Piastów-Kurak, Rokicie, Ruda, Wiskitno, Osiedle im. Józefa Montwia-Mireckiego, Karolew-Retkinia Wschód, Koziny, Lublinek-Pienista, Retkinia Zachód-Smulsko, Stare Polesie, Zdrowie-Mania, Z?otno, ?ródmie?cie-Wschód, Osiedle Katedralna, Andrzejów, Dolina ?ódki, Mileszki, Nowosolna, Olechów-Janów, Stary Widzew, Stoki, Widzew-Wschód, Zarzew, and Osiedle nr 33.

Demographics

Textile factory employees in ?ód?, 1950s

?ód? was Poland's second largest city until 2007, when it lost its position to Kraków.[44] This is because alongside the entire region of ?ód? Voivodeship,[45] the city is experiencing substantial population decline.[46] Since the population peak of 1988, when the number of inhabitants reached 854,261,[42] ?ód? has lost more than 150,000 residents. Such a dramatic change results mainly from low fertility rates and low life expectancy on the one hand, and a negative migration balance on the other.[45] A major factor behind the shrinkage of the city was the transition from socialist to market-based economy after 1989 and the resulting economic crisis,[47] but the economic growth following Poland's accession to the European Union in 2004 has not reversed the trend.[48] The process of suburbanization also contributes to it, with a number of non-urban areas in counties surrounding ?ód? steadily increasing in population. While the 'fringe area' around ?ód? is expected to register an insignificant growth of less than 2,000 people until 2050, the population of the city proper by the middle of the 21st century is estimated to drop below the level of 500,000.[46] The ongoing ageing and depopulation of ?ód? is a major challenge for the future development of the city, putting strain on social infrastructure and medical services.[44]

?ód? has one of the highest feminization rates among Poland's major cities, a legacy of the city's industrial past, when the textile factories attracted large numbers of female employees.[44] The rising age of the population, coupled with a longer life expectancy among women, further exacerbates the disproportion.[44]

Places of interest

Sculpture of Artur Rubinstein on Piotrkowska Street in ?ód?, where Rubinstein was born and raised

The most notable and recognizable landmark of the city is Piotrkowska Street, which remains the high-street and main tourist attraction in the city, runs north to south for a little over five kilometres (3.1 miles). This makes it one of the longest commercial streets in the world. Most of the building façades, many of which date back to the 19th century, have been renovated.[49] It is the site of most restaurants, bars and cafes in ?ód?'s city centre.

Many neglected tenement houses throughout the entire city centre have been renovated in recent years as part of the ongoing revitalization project run by the local authorities.[50] The best example of urban regeneration in ?ód? is the Manufaktura complex, occupying a large area of a former cotton factory dating back to the nineteenth century.[51] The site, which was the heart of Izrael Pozna?ski's industrial empire, now hosts a shopping mall, numerous restaurants, 4-star hotel, multiplex cinema, factory museum, bowling and fitness facilities and a science exhibition centre.[52] Opened in 2006, it quickly became a centre of cultural entertainment and shopping,[52] as well as a recognizable city landmark attracting both domestic and foreign tourists.[51] The city is also likely to receive a large boost in terms of tourism once the massive revitalization project of the city's downtown (worth 4 billion PLN) is completed.[10] The local government's efforts to transform the former industrial city into a thriving urban environment and tourist destination formed the basis for the city's failed bid to organise the 2022 International EXPO exhibition on the subject of urban renewal.[53]

Light Move Festival in ?ód?

?ód? has one of the best museums of modern art in Poland. Muzeum Sztuki has three branches, two of which (ms1 and ms2) display collections of 20th and 21st century art. The newest addition to the museum, ms2 was opened in 2008 in the Manufaktura complex.[54] The unique collection of the Museum is presented in an unconventional way: instead of a chronological lecture on the development of art, works of art representing various periods and movements are arranged into a story touching themes and motifs important for the contemporary public. The third branch of Muzeum Sztuki, located in one of the city's many industrial palaces, also has more traditional art on display, presenting works by European and Polish masters such as Stanis?aw Wyspia?ski and Henryk Rodakowski.[55]

Muzeum Sztuki, ms2 branch, a museum and gallery of modern art

Among the 14 registered museums to be found in ?ód?,[56] there is the independent Book Art Museum, awarded the American Printing History Association's Institutional Award for 2015 for its outstanding contribution to the study, recording, preservation and dissemination of printing history in Poland over the last 35 years.[57] Other notable museums include the Central Museum of Textiles with its open-air display of wooden architecture, the Cinematography Museum, located in Scheibler Palace, and the Museum of Independence Traditions, occupying the building of a historical Tsarist prison from the late 19th century.[54] A more unusual establishment, the D?tka museum offers tourists a chance to visit the municipal sewer designed in the early years of the 20th century by the British engineer William Heerlein Lindley.

Las ?agiewnicki (Lagiewniki Forest), part of the ?ód? Hills Landscape Park

?ód? also provides plenty of green spaces for recreation. Woodland areas cover 9.61% of the city, with parks taking up an additional 2.37% of the area of ?ód? (as of 2014).[58]Las ?agiewnicki (?agiewnicki Forest), the largest forest within city limits, is referred to in scholarship as "the largest forested area within the administrative borders of any city in Europe."[59] It has an area of 1,245 ha[58] and is cut across by a number of hiking trails that traverse the hilly landscape on the western edge of ?ód? Hills Landscape Park.[60] A "natural complex which has remained nearly intact as oak-hornbeam and oak woodland,"[59] the forest is also rich in history, and its attractions include a Franciscan friary dating back to the early 18th century and two 17th-century wooden chapels.[61] Out of a total of 44 parks in ?ód? (as of 2014), 11 have historical status, the oldest of them dating back to the middle of the 19th century.[62] The largest of these, Józef Pi?sudski Park (188,21 ha),[58] is located near the ?ód? Zoo and the city's botanical garden, and together with them it comprises an extensive green complex known as Zdrowie serving the recreational needs of the city.

Herbst Palace, an art gallery within a historical mansion, which holds paintings from all over Europe

The Jewish Cemetery at Bracka Street, one of the largest of its kind in Europe, was established in 1892. After the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939, this cemetery became a part of ?ód?'s eastern territory known as the enclosed ?ód? ghetto (Ghetto Field). Between 1940 and 1944, approximately 43,000 burials took place within the grounds of this rounded-up cemetery.[63] In 1956, a monument by Muszko in memory of the victims of the ?ód? Ghetto was erected at the cemetery. It features a smooth obelisk, a menorah, and a broken oak tree with leaves stemming from the tree (symbolizing death, especially death at a young age). As of 2014 the cemetery has an area of 39.6 hectare. It contains approximately 180,000 graves, approximately 65,000 labelled tombstones, ohels and mausoleums. Many of these monuments have significant architectural value; 100 of these have been declared historical monuments and have been in various stages of restoration. The mausoleum of Izrael and Eleanora Poznanski is perhaps the largest Jewish tombstone in the world and the only one decorated with mosaics.[64][65]

Economy and infrastructure

High-rise buildings in central ?ód?

Before 1990, the economy of ?ód? was heavily reliant on the textile industry, which had developed in the city in the nineteenth century owing to the abundance of rivers used to power the industry's fulling mills, bleaching plants and other machinery.[66] Because of the growth in this industry, the city has sometimes been called the "Polish Manchester".[67] As a result, ?ód? grew from a population of 13,000 in 1840 to over 500,000 in 1913. By the time right before World War I ?ód? had become one of the most densely populated industrial cities in the world, with 13,280 inhabitants per km2, and also one of the most polluted. The textile industry declined dramatically in 1990 and 1991, and no major textile company survives in ?ód? today. However, countless small companies still provide a significant output of textiles, mostly for export to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

The city benefits from its central location in Poland. A number of firms have located their logistics centres in the vicinity. Two motorways, A1 spanning from the north to the south of Poland, and A2 going from the east to the west, intersect northeast of the city. As of 2012, the A2 is complete to Warsaw and the northern section of A1 is largely completed. With these connections, the advantages of the city's central location should increase even further. Work has also begun on upgrading the railway connection with Warsaw, which reduced the 2-hour travel time to make the 137 km (85 mi) journey 1.5 hours in 2009. As of 2018, travel time from ?ód? to Warsaw is around 1.2 hours with the modern Pesa SA Dart trains.[68]

Recent years have seen many foreign companies opening and establishing their offices in ?ód?. The Indian IT company Infosys has one of its centres in the city. In January 2009 Dell announced that it will shift production from its plant in Limerick, Ireland to its plant in ?ód?, largely because the labour costs in Poland are a fraction of those in Ireland.[69] The city's investor friendly policies have attracted 980 foreign investors by January 2009.[69]Foreign investment was one of the factors which decreased the unemployment rate in ?ód? to 6.5 percent in December 2008, from 20 percent four years earlier.[69]

Transport

Major road network in the city
?ód? tram network

?ód? is situated near the geographical centre of Poland, only a short distance away from the motorway junction in Stryków where the two main north-south (A1) and east-west (A2) Polish transport corridors meet, which positions the city on two of the ten major trans-European routes: from Gda?sk to ?ilina and Brno and from Berlin to Moscow via Warsaw.[70] It is also part of the New Silk Road,[71] a regular cargo rail connection with the Chinese city of Chengdu operating since 2013.[72] ?ód? is served by the national motorway network, an international airport, and long-distance and regional railways. It is at the centre of a regional and commuter rail network operating from the city's various train stations. Bus and tram services are operated by a municipal public transport company. There are 130 km (81 mi) of bicycle routes throughout the city.[73]

Major roads include:

  • A1: Gda?sk - Toru? - ?ód? - Cz?stochowa - Cieszyn (national border)
  • A2wiecko (national border) - Pozna? - ?ód? - Warszawa
  • S8: Wroc?aw - Sieradz - ?ód? - Piotrków Trybunalski - Warszawa - Bia?ystok
  • S14: Pabianice - Konstantynów ?ódzki - Aleksandrów ?ódzki - Zgierz
  • DK14owicz - Stryków - ?ód? - Zdu?ska Wola - Sieradz - Z?oczew - Walichnowy
  • DK72: Konin - Turek - Podd?bice - ?ód? - Brzeziny - Rawa Mazowiecka
  • DK91: Gda?sk - Tczew - Toru? - ?ód? - Piotrków Trybunalski - Radomsko - Cz?stochowa

Airport

The city has an international airport: ?ód? W?adys?aw Reymont Airport located 6 kilometres (4 miles) from the city centre. Flights connect the city with destinations in Europe including Turkey.[74] In 2014 the airport handled 253,772 passengers.[75] It is the 8th largest airport in Poland.[76]

Public Transport

Piotrkowska Centrum tram station, also known as "The Unicorn Stable"

The Municipal Transport Company - ?ód? (Miejskie Przedsi?biorstwo Komunikacyjne - ?ód?), owned by the ?ód? City Government, is responsible for operating 58 bus routes and 19 tram lines.[77][78]

Rail

?ód? has a number of long distance and local railway stations. There are two main stations in the city, but with no direct rail connection between them--a legacy of 19th-century railway network planning. Originally constructed in 1866, the centrally-located ?ód? Fabryczna was a terminus station for a branch line of the Warsaw-Vienna railway,[79] whereas ?ód? Kaliska was built more than thirty years later on the central section of the Warsaw-Kalisz railway. For this reason most intercity train traffic goes to this day through ?ód? Kaliska station, despite its relative distance from the city centre, and ?ód? Fabryczna serves mainly as a terminal station for trains to Warsaw. The situation will be remedied in 2021 after the construction of a tunnel connecting the two,[80] which is likely to make ?ód? Poland's main railway hub.[81] The tunnel will additionally serve ?ód? Commuter Railway, providing a rapid transit system for the city, dubbed the ?ód? Metro by the media and local authorities.[82] Two new stations are to be constructed on the underground line, one serving the needs of the Manufaktura complex and the other located in the area of Piotrkowska Street.[82]

In December 2016, a few years after the demolition of the old building of ?ód? Fabryczna station, a new underground station was opened.[81] It is considered to be the largest and most modern of all train stations in Poland and is designed to handle increased traffic after the construction of the tunnel.[83] It also serves as a multimodal transport hub, featuring an underground intercity bus station, and is integrated with a new transport interchange serving taxis and local trams and buses.[84] The construction of the new ?ód? Fabryczna station was part of a broader project of urban renewal known as Nowe Centrum ?odzi (New Centre of ?ód?).[85]

The third-largest train station in ?ód? is ?ód? Widzew. There are also many other stations and train stops in the city, many of which were upgraded as part of the ?ódzka Kolej Aglomeracyjna commuter rail project. The rail service, founded as part of a major regional rail upgrade and owned by ?ód? Voivodeship, operates on routes to Kutno, Sieradz, Skierniewice, ?owicz, and on selected days to Warsaw, with plans for further expansion after the construction of the tunnel.[86]

Education

?ód? is a thriving center of academic life. Currently ?ód? hosts three major state-owned universities, six higher education establishments operating for more than a half of the century, and a number of smaller schools of higher education. The tertiary institutions with the most students in ?ód? include:

In the 2018 general ranking of state-owned tertiary education institutions in Poland, the University of ?ód? came 20th (6th place among universities) and Lodz University of Technology 12th (6th place among technical universities). The Medical University of ?ód? was ranked 5th among Polish medical universities. Leading courses taught in ?ód? include administration (U? - 3rd place), law (U? - 4th place) and biology (U? - 4th place).[87]

There is also a number of private-owned institutions of higher learning in ?ód?. The largest of these are the University of Social Sciences (Spo?eczna Akademia Nauk) and the University of Humanities and Economics in ?ód? (Akademia Humanistyczno-Ekonomiczna w ?odzi). In the 2018 ranking of private universities in Poland the former was ranked 9th, and the latter 23rd.[87]

National Film School in ?ód?

National Film School at Oskar Kon Palace

Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in ?ód? (Pa?stwowa Wy?sza Szko?a Filmowa, Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. Leona Schillera w ?odzi) is the most notable academy for future actors, directors, photographers, camera operators and TV staff in Poland. It was founded on 8 March 1948 and was initially planned to be moved to Warsaw as soon as the city was rebuilt following the Warsaw Uprising. However, in the end the school remained in ?ód? and today is one of the best-known institutions of higher education in the city.

At the end of the Second World War ?ód? remained the only large Polish city besides Kraków which war had not destroyed. The creation of the National Film School gave ?ód? a role of greater importance from a cultural viewpoint, which before the war had belonged exclusively to Warsaw and Kraków. Early students of the School include the directors Andrzej Munk, Andrzej Wajda, Kazimierz Karabasz (one of the founders of the so-called Black Series of Polish Documentary) and Janusz Morgenstern, who at the end of the 1950s became famous as one of the founders of the Polish Film School of Cinematography.[88]

Culture

Museum of Art in ?ód?, the city's primary cultural institution

Museums in ?ód?

?ód? in literature and cinema

The contrast between the living conditions in industrial ?ód? were often mentioned in arts and literature. A notable example is The Promised Land, a novel by W?adys?aw Reymont

Three major novels depict the development of industrial ?ód?: W?adys?aw Reymont's The Promised Land (1898), Joseph Roth's Hotel Savoy (1924) and Israel Joshua Singer's The Brothers Ashkenazi (1937). Roth's novel depicts the city on the eve of a workers' riot in 1919. Reymont's novel was made into a film by Andrzej Wajda in 1975. In the 1990 film Europa Europa, Solomon Perel's family flees pre-World War II Berlin and settles in ?ód?. Scenes of David Lynch's 2006 film Inland Empire were shot in ?ód?. Pawe? Pawlikowski's film Ida was partially shot in ?ód?. Sections of Harry Turtledove's Worldwar alternate history series take place in ?ód?, and, in John Birmingham's Axis of Time alternate history trilogy, ?ód? gains the unfortunate historical notoriety of becoming the first city to be destroyed by an Atomic Bomb when the USSR destroys the city on 5 June 1944.

Sport

The city has experience as a host for international sporting events such as the 2009 EuroBasket,[89] and it will be one of the six host cities of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, with the opening and final to take place at Stadion Widzewa. ?ód? will also host the sixth edition of the European Universities Games in 2022.[90]

Under communism it was common for clubs to participate in many different sports for all ages and sexes. Many of these traditional clubs still survive today. Originally they were owned directly by a public body, but now they are independently operated by clubs or private companies. However they get public support through the cheap rent of land and other subsidies from the city. Some of their sections have gone professional and separated from the clubs as private companies. For example, Budowlani S.A is a private company that owns the only professional rugby team in ?ód?, while Klub Sportowy Budowlani remains a community amateur club.

In Ekstraklasa of Polish beach soccer ?ód? have three professional clubs: Grembach, KP and BSCC [pl].

Horticultural Expo 2024

?ód? will host the Horticultural Expo in 2024. ?ód? bid for the Specialized Expo 2022/2023 but lost out to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

International relations

?ód? is home to nine foreign consulates, all of which are Honorary. They are subordinate to the following states main representation in Poland: French, Danish, German, Austrian, British, Belgian, Latvian, Hungarian and Moldavian.

Twin towns - sister cities

?ód? is twinned with:[93]

?ód? belongs also to the Eurocities network.

Notable residents

Arthur Rubinstein, one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century, was born in ?ód?
Daniel Libeskind, notable architect and designer
Andrzej Sapkowski, best known for The Witcher book series

Notable descendants of ?ód? residents

Gallery of sights

See also

References

Notes

Citations

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Bibliography

External links


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Music Scenes