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'''Łódź''' [http://www.uml.lodz.pl/wersja_angielska/] is a city in the [[Lodzkie|Łódzkie Vovoidship]], a region of central [[Poland]]. It is a complex city with a rich architectural and industrial heritage.
[[Image:Lodz_architecture.jpg|thumb|350px|right|The architecture in Lodz]]
Łódź; a short name and a relatively short, though important, history. From the unusual beginnings of the metropolis, co-existence of different cultures, religions and nationalities to its poverty and high unemployment. Lodz also is a place with a history of specific local tolerance and a desire to build a 'people’s own' and unique city. Lodz has been perceived and assessed in many different ways. Some wanted to make it the Promised Land. Others saw it as the evil city. There were also those who claimed it was the city of hope.
The first mention of Lodz dates back to 1332. In July 1423 Lodz was granted its municipal privilege by king Wladyslaw Jagiello. At that time Lodz had a 28-cornfield area and the existence of its inhabitants was based on agriculture. This period of its history is called "Agricultural Lodz". In the middle of the 16th century the population of the town was approximately 650 - 800. At the beginning of the 19th century the period of real prosperity began.
The rapid development of Lodz in the second half of the 19th century was brought about by the rise of enormous industrialist fortunes. New inhabitants, craftsmen and merchants came to Lodz; markets and town fairs came to life. The profits obtained from prosperous textile mills opened up practically unlimited possibilities for their owners. The city residences became expressions of the riches and power of the local tycoons. They were usually situated next to the owner's factory.
The day before the outbreak of World War II, the city was inhabited by approximately 672 000 people, among whom 34.4% were Jewish (231 000 people) and 86 351 Germans.
The realities of Nazi invasion could be felt in Lodz earlier than in other cities. Lodz was included in the so-called 'Poznan District' in the III Reich. The name Litzmannstadt was given to the city, and Piotrkowska Street was called Adolf Hitler Strasse.
During the occupation not so many buildings were destroyed in Lodz. The material losses were more serious because the invader took away the machines, raw materials, finished goods etc. Not to mention the tragic loss of its creative and industrious populus.
The day before the liberation, about 80 000 Germans left Lodz in panic. At the beginning of 1945 the number of population in Lodz was estimated at 300 000. The most tragic period in the history of the city ends in January 1945. At the end of 1945 there were more than 502 000 inhabitants in Lodz, and in 1951 - 646 000 people living here.
Unfortunately, Lodz has had a very hard time coping financially with the the downfall of communism. Many claim this is due to its proximity to Warszawa, to where all the available funds for renovation and renewal seem to flow. Many buildings appear in poor condition, though lately we have seen some progress with the renovation of the facade of the Lodz University sites and some other key mansions. The people are enterprising however, and will exploit every chance they have of making a little money, whether for themselves for the city in general.
Lodz today may not have the glitz and glamour of its heyday, however there is a certain beauty and charm in its partially renovated facades and 'leitmotivs', not to mention its large artistic traditions, even if not immediately evident. For a different and eye-opening experience of the world and its cultures, Lodz is certainly a recommended destination.
Andrzej Wajda's movie "The Promised Land" portrays Lodz's 19th Century heyday http://www.wajda.pl/en/filmy/film18.html/
*'''Lodz Lublinek Airport''' [http://www.airport.lodz.pl/index.php?lang=en_EN] - Has just two terminals and though it is mainly used as a charter airport, budget airlines such as Ryanair have begun operations offering international flights between Lodz and London Stansted (a smaller airport outside of [[London]]), Nottingham East Midlands and Dublin. Centralwings (Polish budget airlines) offers flights between Lodz and Dublin.
There are numerous Sky Taxis that operate from the airport. A list of these companies can be found on the airport's "Booking" page. [http://www.airport.lodz.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=19&Itemid=89&lang=en_EN]
[[Image:Lodz_Fabryczna.jpg|thumb|280px|right|Lodz Fabryczna station]]
*'''Lodz-Fabryczna''' is the terminal for trains that originated in Poland with Lodz as a stop. This station is centrally located.
*'''Lodz-Kaliska''' is the more international train station that services riders from the Czech Republic and Germany.
You can find a detailed schedule of national and international trains on PKP's website avaible in Polish, English and German. [http://www.pkp.pl]
[[Poland]] is planning an extensive network of highways, but until this project is completed the best advice is to check a map or an atlas.
Several completed and planned international highways that will pass through or by Lodz are listed below.
*'''A - 1''' from Scandinavia via [[Gdansk]], [[Torun]], [[Lodz]], [[Czestochowa]], [[Katowice]] to Balkans.
*'''A - 2''' from [[London]] via [[Brussels]], [[Amsterdam]], [[Berlin]], [[Poznan]], [[Lodz]], [[Warsaw]], [[Minsk]] to [[Moscow]].
*'''A - 8''' from [[Paris]] via [[Strasbourg]], [[Cologne]], [[Dresden]], [[Wroclaw]], [[Lodz]], [[Warsaw]], and from [[Geneva]] via [[Munich]], [[Prague]], [[Wroclaw]], [[Lodz]], [[Warsaw]].
Polski Express [http://www.polskiexpress.pl/] runs services daily from [[Warszawa]] (stops at both airport and centre), and from other parts of Poland, including a new service which runs from Gdansk via Torun to Lodz.
People who do not speak Polish and plan to get around Lodz by tram should have nothing but courage. Schedules for buses (''Autobusy'') and and trams (''Tramwaje'') are in Polish only and more often than not drivers/operators do not speak anything but Polish. The operating company does run several night trams and one night bus. Buses and trams that run at night will be identified as ''Nocne(Night).''
*For a list of schedules visit MPK Lodz's (Bus and tram operator) schedule page. [http://www.mpk.lodz.pl/rozklady/start.jsp] (Polish)
*MPK Lodz's main website. [http://www.mpk.lodz.pl/showarticleslist.action?category=1001](English)
Another easy and cheap option is taxis, however, one should be sure that there is a taxi sign atop the cab and that the driver has his/her permit. 9622 , 6400400 and 9191 are some of the known companies and they all have exactly same prices.
On Piotrkowska St. you can travel any distance with a rickshaw for 2,50 PLN per person. It gets to 4 PLN in the night and most of the rikshaw drivers will take you out of Piotrkowska if you offer to pay more.
*'''Księży Młyn.''' [http://www.uml.lodz.pl/wersja_angielska/indeksik.php3?zapytanie=2,03,03]
*'''Jewish cemetery.''' [http://www.ga.com.pl/lodz18.htm]
*'''Litzmannstadt Ghetto''' was the second largest Jewish Ghetto in Poland after the Warsaw Ghetto. The Ghetto is both referred to as the Lodz Ghetto and the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, named after the German General who captured the city. The city was renamed Litzmannstadt in honor of the General during the German occupation. The Litzmannstadt is different from many of the other large Ghettos, because it was the last Ghetto to be liquidated due to the high productivity of the slave laborers and no armed resistence was ever formed.
*'''Old Market Square''' Was once incorpoarted into the Ghetto. It now serves as a venue for concerts and fairs.
*'''The Decalogue Memorial''' is a tribute to the coexistence of Poles and Jews. The memorial is located close to the Old Market Square.
===Museums & Art Galleries===
*'''Muzeum Sztuki''' ul. Wieckowskiego 36 (cnr. of ul. Gdanska) [http://www.muzeumsztuki.lodz.pl/]
The most valuable part of the Museum’s holdings is the a.r. International Collection of Modern Art, which is very highly esteemed and well known all over the world. It was initiated in 1929 by a group of artists, led by [[Władysław Strzemiński]], [[Katarzyna Kobro]] and [[Henryk Stażewski]].
In the years 1928-1939 the Museum (and the International Collection of Modern Art) was housed in the former city hall of [[Łódź]]. In 1946, it was moved to one of the [[Poznański]] family residences, at 36 Więckowskiego Street. The Museum was subsequently taken over by the state and its name changed to ‘Muzeum Sztuki Łódź’.
Today, the collection of modern art totals over 10,000 items, however, due to the limitations of space, not all items are on show at any one time.
The Museum’s holdings also include old Polish and foreign art - altogether over 2,300 objects as well as an interesting collection of handicraft.
''' ''Museum hours:'' Monday closed, Tuesday 10 - 17, Wednesday 11 - 17, Thursday 12 - 19 admission free, Friday 11 - 17, Saturday 10 - 16, Sunday 10 - 16'''
*'''Muzeum Historii Miasta Łodzi''' ul. Ogrodowa 15 (cnr ul. Zachodnia) [http://www.poznanskipalace.muzeum-lodz.pl/angielski.html]
Various beautiful rooms with exhibitions dedicated to some of the most famous people from Lodz including writer Julian Tuwim, pianist Artur Rubenstein, and collections of items from the daily lives of those who have lived in Lodz throughout the years.
''' ''Visiting hours:'' Monday closed, Tuesday 10.00 - 16.00, Wednesday 14.00 - 18.00, Thursday 10.00 - 16.00, Friday 10.00 - 14.00, Saturday 10.00 - 14.00, Sunday 10.00 - 14.00 (Free of charge for individual tourists. Free tickets are available from the cash box from 10.00)'''
*'''Silver Screen''' ul. Piłsudskiego 5 is just couple tram stops away from Lodz Kaliska train station and offers movie selections usually in English with Polish subtitles. This is one of the better movie theaters in Europe and rivals the theater at the Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Of course, as with all mega film complexes it is more expensive than the local cinemas.
*'''Kino Charlie''' ul.Piotrkowska 203/205, nice cinema with mostly interesting programme of (often European and Asian) films, not as commercial as Silver Screen. [http://en.charlie.pl]
*'''Kino Cytryna''' ("The Lemon") ul. Zachodnia 81/83 is open 24/7. They have similar repertoire to Charlie (mostly non-American films). If you order in advance they will show a film of your choice. Breakfast is included in the price of a ticket for early morning (3.30 - 4 a.m.) films. Tickets are either 12 PLN minus 1 PLN discount for each yellow piece of your clothing, or 15 PLN for a pair with a lemon. [http://www.kinocytryna.mnc.pl]
*'''Teatr Jaracza''' on 27 Jaracza St. is considered one of the best drama theaters in Poland. They play Tuesday to Sunday mid September till mid June. On its 3 performance halls you can see modern Polish and international drama as well as the classics.[http://www.teatr-jaracza.lodz.pl/]
*'''University of Łódź''' [http://www.uni.lodz.pl/ang/portal/]
*'''Technical University of Łódź''' [http://www.p.lodz.pl/eng/index.jsp]
*'''Medical University of Łódź''' [http://www.umed.lodz.pl/index.en.php]
*'''The School of Polish for Foreigners in the University of Łódź''' - Offers courses in Polish for periods of one month, five months, and two nine month programs. [http://www.sjpdc.uni.lodz.pl/]
*'''Polish National Film,Tv and Theatre School "Leon Schiller"''' (Panstwowa Wysza Szkola Filmowa Telewizyjna i Teatralna im. L. Schillera), one of the most famous filmschools in the world, many famous filmmakers such as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polanski or Krzystof Kieslowski studied here. And also today there is a very active student community with students from Poland and from abroad. [http://www.filmschool.lodz.pl/]
*'''Academy of Humanities and Economics''' [http://www.wshe.lodz.pl/index.php?j=eng] - the biggest and most renown private university in Lodz. Offers studies in English.
Numerous international companies have operations in Lodz, since Lodz is the the second largest city in Poland and has an high number of technically skilled labor.
*The main commercial street in Lodz is '''Piotrkowska Street''', which is supposedly the longest commercial street in the world with a length of four kilometers.
*The largest single collection of shops is the '''Galeria Lodzka''' - a large mall on ul Pilsudskiego - where you can find almost anything from the latest fashions and expensive perfume, to modern electrical equipment and groceries.
*'''Baluty Market''' in the district of Baluty in the north of the city, big open air market, every saturday you can buy here everything from vegetables, over clothes to life pets. Not romantic, but an experience!!!
*'''Zielony rynek''' ("The green market") on Plac Barlickiego (8 minutes away from Piotrkowska St.) is a great place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables as well as bread, meet, homemade honey and other products.
*In '''Tibi dibi''' on 107 Piotrkowska St. you get a big, vegetarian, 2-course meal with a desert for 12 PLN.
*'''Orfeusz''' restaurant on 43 Narutowicza St. offers "Menu dnia" (equivalent of Spanish "menu del día") with a choice of 2 course sets - for 10 and for 14 PLN. There is also a salad bar and a big choice of dishes à la carte. Traditional Polish and Italian cusine.
*In '''Da Grasso''' on 113/115 Piotrkowska St. (in the gate) you can have a huge pizza for 15-25 PLN. Their big pizza is totally enough for 2 hungry people. Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. except Sundays when they start at noon and Friday nights when they work till 1 a.m.
*'''Green Way''' a vegetarian fast food chain [www.greenway.pl] has one restaurant on 80 Piotrkowska St. another in Manufaktura Shopping and Entertainment Centre [http://manufaktura.com/EN/index.asp] and a small bar on 1 Zielona St. A soup 3 PLN, second plate 6-9 PLN. Restaurant on Piotrkowska offers free wireless internet access.
*'''HOT point''' on 101 Piotrkowska St. offers soups for 2-3 PLN, pankaces for as little as 1,80 PLN, salads, pasta and meat dishes including traditional Polish schabowy for 7 PLN. You can hava a small lunch here for 4,50 PLN. In summer you can also eat outside.
*'''Piotrkowska Klub 97''' on 97 Piotrkowska St. is said to be David Lynch's favorite restaurant in Lodz. Good quality food and wines. There is a Milonga - a tango evening in one of the halls most of Monday nights (starting around 19.30). [http://www.97.com.pl/]
*'''Servantka''' deep in the gate of 55 Piotrkowska St. has very nice, discrete atmosphere and offers tasty (though not very big) nouveau cuisine dishes.
*'''Cafe Tuwim''' on 18 Pomorska St., just by the Jewish Community [http://www.zgw.lodz.pl], is the only glat-kosher restaurant in the city. Count about 30 PLN for one course and a drink.
*'''Esplanada''' on 100 Piotrkowska St. is an exclusive restaurant with a long history, Titanic-like interior and live music every night. You can look up their interiors and check the menu on their website. [http://www.esplanada.pl/english.htm]
*'''Pub Lodz Kaliska''' ul.Piotrkowska 102,- one of the most popular pubs in Lodz, an institution! Named after the artist group "Lodz Kaliska". Decorated with pieces of art. On weekends very crowded. A must see are the womens toilets on the first floor!!!
*'''Galery/Pub 102''' ul.Piotrkowska 102,- in the same yard as Kaliska, nice, quiet location, usually with exibitions of photographies
*Bookshop-Cafe '''Mala Litera''' [http://www.malalitera.pl/] on ul. Traugutta 9 is exactly in the mid-way from Lodz Fabryczna train station to Piotrkowska St. if you walk straight west (as where the tracks would go)[http://www.malalitera.pl/index.php?str=18]. It is an artistic bookshop with books mostly in English, big range of CDs (mostly classical and ethnic music) and a small cafe. It is one of few places in Lodz where they know how to make a good macchiato. Concerts and meetings with artists are often organized in the evenings.
*'''Kawiarnia Syrena''' on Piotrkowska 66 , also known as "u Husajna" o "chez Hussein" offers good coffee, huge ice-cream desserts, milkshakes and truly international atmosphere.
Accommodation in Lodz is different from other Polish cities, because a high end hotel here is more like a mid-range hotel in [[Warsaw]] or [[Krakow]]. Additionally, more modern chain hotels which could be "Budget" hotels in Warsaw may be Mid-range hotels, since they expect to be paid a certain rate in Warsaw and that rate was carried over to the Lodz market.
*'''Youth Hostel''' on 27 Legionów St. has clean and affordable rooms starting at about 24 PLN ($8 per person) per night. Call ''+48 42'' 6306680 in advance to make reservation.
*'''Ibis''', Al. Pilsudskiego 11 (+48)42/6386700, $60 - $100 [http://www.ibishotel.com]
*'''Orbis Grand Hotel''', Piotrkowska St. 72; phone: +48 (0) 42 633 99 20; Is the oldest hotel in Lodz and has rates of between $100 - $140 for "Single standard" and "Double Superior." [http://www.orbis.pl/indexH.php4?h=7&j=2]
There is a number of Internet cafes on Piotrkowska and nearby streets.
*'''Cafe del mondo''' on the first floor of 55 Piotrkowska St. building with 3 PLN / hour is popular among foreign students.
*'''Internetowa Kawiarnia Spadochronowa''' - Skydiving Internet Cafe [http://www.skydive.pl/kawiarnia/] on 41 Narutowicza St. is 5 minutes walk away from Lodz Fabryczna station and works 24/7. 1 PLN / 15 minutes. There are a pub and a pizzeria [http://www.skydive.pl/pizza/] in the same place.
Although Lodz is the second largest city in Poland, the fall of Communism in the Eastern states did not see as great an improvement in the economic situation as it did in the large tourist and business centers of [[Warsaw]], [[Krakow]], and [[Gdansk]]. High unemployment and lack of opportunities has led to an increase in poverty, thus travellers may encounter quite a few beggars on the street; in the train station, along Piotrkowska street, and occasionally even shops and movie theaters.
As a precaution against theft, it may be better to turn a beggar down rather than search for money in your wallet on the street. Should you wish to give them money, keep a handful of coins or loose change in your pocket so as to avoid tempting fate.
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