My alternative visit to Łódź

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There was three cities I wanted to visit in Poland: Warsaw, Krakow and Lodz. Today I should be visiting the Polish cultural  capital but yesterday my french friend who is in internship in Warsaw informed me about a terrible accident near Krakow on the line Warsaw-Krakow.

Information about Lodz

Located in the exact center of Poland, 2h from the capital Warsaw, Lodz has about 800,000 habitants which makes it the second largest city of the country.

The Polish Manchester was long time ago a simple village, it became during the last century an attractive and important place for the textille industry, russians, jews and germans opened a lot of factory in the city.This incredible transformation transform Lodz into an powerful city where manufacturer owners built many Palace in this Promised Land.Theese Palace are still existing and remain the past glory.

Nowdays the city is searching its place among the others Polish cities. The unemployement was after war the highest in Poland with 20% of the population without job. The city is now looking for dynamism, the young population, principally students, gives the city a new face. It is now a good place for them because they will find there many bars, clubs and museums, and the life is cheap. The Piotrkowska street is a good exemple of the Lodz life, called the 100 pubs street you will never get bored.

The city survied the Second World War and haven’t been totaly destroyed, the main street preserved.

The crazy long trip in Lodz

I cannot go to Krakow

This morning I went to the station to get a ticket for Krakow, because of the accident it’s at 5h instead of 3h. Too long for a day trip, even for me.

This is the second time use the train in Poland, and the second time I met an interesting person. If last time we talk we a ukrainian student, today I have been helped by a local when I was (trying) to order my Krakow ticket. The polish help me to understand how long would be my trip to Krakow and then to get my ticket to Lodz. This man was really sympatic and well english speaker. He was also going to Lodz and sit in the same cabine as me. We talk about us and I learnt that he is professor in the University of Warsawteaching theorical physics, and he is going to Lodz for a conference about the quatum theory.

Arriving

I came to Lodz at 10h40 and directly ginf a tourisme office in the train station, the girl was nice, gave me maps, places to see and advices. She told me to go in the new city center which is in the Manufaktura. I never heard about.

From the station the city center is far, by walk I need more than one hour. It made me understood that the map scale is totaly … special. The city is really big, in contrary it seems very small on the map. I also saw that there is no really center, but only a looooooong pedestrian way called Piotrkowska Street, its the longest in Europe. On the way to the main avenue, I saw the church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Marii Sklodowskiej-Curie street.

Once on the avenue, I was surprise by the quality of the architecture, all the building are in art nouveau style and in a good statement. This buildings were built and own by industrials people. Lodz became an important city thanks to its industry, but today it’s not the same song…

So many statues!

Another thing which surprised me is the amount of statue on the street, foutain , mousse, piano, people. Every hundred meters you will meet one. If Warsaw was the city of Fryderyk Chopin, Lodz was the city ofArtur Rubinstein.

Best place of Lodz

I walked to the north in direction of the Manufaktura. The long street is stop by only one round with the statue of the Freedom Fighter Tadeusz Kosciuszko. On this round is the Basilica Cathedral Saint Stanislaw Kostka.

From there the Manufaktura is close, but I chose to see the Old Town market square. It’s symbolize the southern limite of the ghetto of Lodz. The place is half sournded by arcades. I saw that Polishs didn’t want to do something good with it, nothing is there. After the market square is the Saint Joseph church.

The Manufaktura is probably the most interesting place of Lodz. This old factory’s area was transformed in a friendly area with huge shopping center, cinema, hotel and disco. I appreciate to had sun this day, it was even warmer than in Warsaw. Next to the Manufaktura is a museum, but I didn’t been, prefering see the southern part of Lodz.

See all the chuches!

I left the area and go to the east in a park, I saw the Statue of Moses in Lodz front to a water area, totaly frozen with children playing on it and dog running after ice cubes! I took a street parallel to the main street, expecting something good. But no, if you are not on Piotrkowska street you loose your time, I return on this street from the Liberty square and the Freedom Fighter roundabout.

Then I made a long churchathon. Going church to church, in general they are the most interesting builing of a city, in Lodz is even true.

I saw the Alexander Nevsky Orthodox church. While I was walking I discover an important building, theConcert Hall of Lodz, very cool and design. After half a day in Lodz and on the main street I noticed a middle line with different name. I guess name of killed polishs during the last war.

Epic ending

The lastest part of my day was the most epic. I went to the Archicathedral of Saint Stanislaw Kostka and its statue dedicated to the pope John Paul II, the night came quickly and I had to go back to the train station to don’t be late in Warsaw. I walked next to the Lodz Politechnika and met a fighting plane exposed on a place. Later I cross the park J. Poniatowskiego. I walk for a long time till I find a road sign. It was impossible but I did, I got lost in a city! I think 30-40 minutes have been lost… It make me really crazy, I was cold, tired and angry.

Finally I manage to be in the train station before 7pm. But I missed a train for 10 minutes and had to wait one hour for the next. I got crazy because timetable were not in english, and I don’t speak polish. I cannot know which pannel shown departure or arrival times. A girl helped after I asked her mother. Good girls in Poland!

I texted my friend to say I will be in Warsaw later than I planed, and I bought a hamburger/cola in the station. I paid less than 10 zloty! And it was good 🙂 That’s end my experience in Lodz, I took my train and slept untill the capital.

Guillaume Speurt

Guillaume Speurt

French settled in Estonia, I have spent my last years in the Baltic States. I love photography and travelling in Eastern and Central Europe, I write this blog to relate my experiences.
Guillaume Speurt

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