If you are looking for somewhere off the beaten track, then Lodz has it. It is the second largest Polish city, and has its own unique atmosphere. It is also sometimes known as the Polish Manchester due to its size and the fame of the textile industry that developed there in the 19th century. Unreasonably overlooked, Lodz is worth a visit and definitely deserves promotion. It features fine Art Nouveau architecture, a rowdy nightlife and the most famous Polish film school. A visit to Lodz will undoubtedly leave you with memorable impressions and a better understanding of Poland.
Lodz is the third largest urban centre in Poland with a population of about 742,000. Although the history of Lodz goes back a long way (it obtained city rights in the 15th century), its greatest development and later boom happened in the 19th century, when Lodz became a centre of the cloth industry.
Lodz is located in the very centre of Poland, and still remains particularly favourable for the development of trade. The landscape can be described as being rather flat, as Lodz lies on the Central Poland Lowland area, and there are only few moraine hills on its outskirts to offset this. Although the city name means “boat” in Polish, there are no particularly large bodies of water or rivers nearby. Lodz lies on the border between the catchment areas of the Vistula and the Odra Rivers, so locally there are only some smaller rivers and brooks and these are usually hidden underground. Of course, there are still many diverse parks and woods nearby in which to commune with nature.
Lodz was once a small village that first appears in written records in 1332. In 1423 it was granted town rights, but it still remained a rather small and insubstantial town. It was the property of Kuiavian bishops until the end of the 18th century, when Lodz passed to Prussia as a result of the second partition of Poland. After spending about ten years within the borders of the independent Duchy of Warsaw, the city joined the Russian-controlled Polish Kingdom.