Lodz of 4 Cultures

At the end of 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Lodz was a city practically free from xenophobia. Lodz was remembered as a city of tolerance, a city of various cultures, different nations, which lived next to each other. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, various religions and nationalities in Lodz were almost condemned to coexist.

The White Factory' of Ludwig Geyer, (phot. UMŁ)

The cultures – Jewish, German, Russian and Polish were always present here, even when the nationalities which formed them, were absent. Lodz has worked many years for the name of a melting pot of cultures, starting from the first workshops launched in the 20’s of the 19th century.

Multicultural and multinational Lodz built by Poles, Germans, Jews and Russians existed and flourished until the outbreak of the World War II, and its traces are visible in the city even to this day.

     Scheibler's Chapel, (phot. UMŁ)

 

But before there was an industrial revolution in this poor, little-known village, it was mostly inhabited by Poles. In 1820, Lodz counted 767 inhabitants, 259 of which belonged to the Jewish community. The number of settlers from German lands also began to grow in a rapid manner: at one time, they were even in majority within the Lodz’s population. However, precise information dates back to the end of the 19th century: then, Poles were more than 46 percent of the Lodz’s population, Germans – more than 29 percent, Jews – over 21 percent, and Russians – 2.5 percent. After regaining the independence, Germans were much less numerous – 7 percent, Poles represented 62 percent of the community, and Jews – 30 percent.

Phot. Jewish Cementery (author: Janusz Molenda)

For decades Lodz was regarded by many as nothing more than a boring city of factory chimneys. The unique architecture, scenic, natural and cultural values went largely unnoticed. Until quite recently.

    
    Reinhold Richter's Residence, (phot. UMŁ)

Today's tourists take great delight in seeing beautifully refurbished tenements and residential structures of great factory magnates - the real gems of Art Nouveau and eclecticism - as well as museum collections and unrivalled nineteenth-century industrial architecture.

No trip to Lodz is complete without a stroll down Piotrkowska Street, the city's pride and joy. Public institutions, banks and stores, restaurants, pubs, discos, antique shops, art galleries an cinemas are centered around his main promenade.

   Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, (phot. UMŁ)

     

    

         (phot. UMŁ)