Lodz (founded in 13th century) was an insignificant village until 19th century. The ugly duckling transformed into a beatiful swan with the miracle of industrialisation. Lodz became the first place in the Russian Empire to become an industrialised city. With high customs protecting the external borders and no virtually competition, the city boomed in an amazing speed.

 

The city owed its amazing growth to the textile industry. It was discovered that the area around the city is optimal to the fabric production. As a result, many laws were adapted to accommodate as many people as possible, especially those who could spin. Dozens of residents of Silesia, the Czechia and Germany came to live and sew in Lodz.

It was built thanks to a good cooperation of four nations: the Poles, the Germans, the Jews and the Russians. The Germans brought the know how and technology. The Jews brought the capital. The Poles brought the labour and the Russians were responsible for the administration. For all of them Lodz seemed to be a promised land.

The development of the weaving industry created several tycoons, which were called “kings of cotton”.
The first of them was Izrael Poznański. His enormous factory was built in the areas of Ogrodowa Street. Today, we find the Manufactura, the Vienna House Andel’s Lodz hotel and the MS2 art museum there. In the Poznański’s Palace, at the corner of Ogrodowa and Zachodnia, we can find the Museum of the city of Łódź.

Karol Scheibler was the second tycoon.  He built his empire, thanks to his wife’s dowry, in the areas of Wodny Rynek (today Victory Square), and later Księży Młyn. The latter is an example of a real city within a city – with shops, a fire station, a school, worker lodgings, etc. Scheibler’s palace is exactly in the middle of this area.

The third empire belonged to the Grohman family. Their factory was located on Targowa Street, and the villa on Tylna Street. The Grohman family has been founded by Traugott; later the empire was expanded by his son Ludwik and his grandson – Henryk.

 

Nowadays, Lodz is a city of contrasts…

Monika

The intensive development of the city often led to social problems. These erupted in strikes, in which workers burned factory equipment or work was boycotted. The strikes were illegal and people turned bloody with several victims.

In order to understand the pace of expansion of Lodz let’s have a look at the number of its inhabitants – in 1815, Lodz had 315 people; in mid 19th century, around 16 thousands and at the end of 19th – 300 thousand, in 1915 – half a million.

During the First World War, many factories were burnt and machines were stolen. During World War II, the process of plundering was repeated, although the buildings this time were not destroyed. The city population, however, declined – as almost two hundred thousand inhabitants were locked in the ghetto and then murdered.

Nowadays, Lodz is a city of contrasts – on the one hand, delabidated former factory buildings, on the other – modern architecture. Although the significant history of Lodz covers only the last 200 years, it is turbulent, dramatic and interesting. Yes – like Lodz itself …

13 - 18 century
Small Village
Lodz is an insignificant village in Poland
19 century
Rapid growth
Lodz is booming and becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the Russian Empire
1914-1918-1939
WWI and later
Lodz suffers during the war but is rebuilt afterwards; the city belongs to Poland.
1939-1945
WWII
Lodz is incorporated into the German Reich and renamed as Litzmannstadt; The Lodz ghetto has been created.
1945-1989
Communism
Lodz is developping according to communist plans
1989-now
Transformation
After the decline of the textile industry, Lodz is looking for its new identity

Sources/bibliography & further read

A bit more informative post about newest Lodz history can be found In your pocket.

Gallery

Map

Where to look?

Music

Travel soundtrack

Tours

Travel with us!

Leave a Reply

monika

Working in social media since 2006. Created her own agency called Wobuzz. Blogger at czaplicka.eu. Published a book on social media crises. Often giving lectures at conferences where she gets rewards for best speeches. Working with brands around the globe. Likes her tech.

Travels a lot! Especially workwise to big European cities.

New Posts