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Izrael Poznański’s Complex
Izrael Poznański’s complex consists of Poznański’s industrial-residential edifices with his monumental palace (often referred to as “the Louvre of Łódź”), the most elegant in Łódź. This is a magnificent example of the thriving textile industry in 19th century Łódź. Some of the buildings have recently been refurbished and turned into “Manufaktura” – one of the largest commercial centres in Europe.
Its name is associated with the history of the site, which originally belonged to the rector of Łódź parish. In 1870 the grounds were purchased by the city’s largest manufacturer, Karol Wilhelm Scheibler, who developed a huge industrial-residential estate. It comprised a factory, a spinning mill, shops, a school, a hospital, the owner’s residence and employee housing estate. The fact that most of the buildings have been preserved until the present day means that Priest’s Mill is perceived as one of the most valuable post-industrial architecture complexes.
Edward Herbst’s Mansion
Built in 1876, it was the first residence in Łódź which consisted of a villa and a garden. The Renaissance and Rococo-styled interiors, including the Mirror, Flower and Eastern Chambers and a Ball Room, are beautifully decorated. Nowadays the building houses the Museum of the Manufacture Interiors and Art Gallery, a branch of the Museum of Art in Łódź.
The Old Cemetery
Situated at 38 Ogrodowa Street, the Old Cemetery was established in 1856. It is a complex of the oldest Christian graveyards in Łódź and includes Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox tombs. Some of the tombs are unrivalled works of art, the most valuable one being Karol Scheibler’s burial place. The artistic merits of the Heinzel family tomb, modelled on the Italian Renaissance, are worth noting; nowadays it serves as a Catholic cemetery chapel. The whole cemetery is a historical monument and a pearl of Neo-Gothic architecture.
Karol Scheibler’s Palace
The Scheiblers were a family of manufacturers, owners of some of Europe’s largest factories. They owned a lot of estates in Poland and abroad. The simple exterior of Karol Scheibler’s Palace stands in contrast to its interiors, which are rich in varied architectural styles and lavish ornamentation. In spite of appearing so modest from the outside, it was one of the most imposing palaces of Łódź at the time. The building was used as a location for The Promised Land and other motion pictures. Nowadays it houses the Cinematography Museum, the only one of its kind in Poland.
Piotrkowska St. – approximately 3.6 km (2.2 miles) long and lined with museums, art galleries, shops and boutiques – is a great place to be at any time of day or night. Lot of restaurants, pubs and clubs make Piotrkowska a perfect route for all-night-long clubbing. A majority of all the attractions in Łódź can be found either along this street or just a few blocks away. One of the unique features of this street are omnipresent rickshaws.
Manufaktura Culture-Trade-Entertainment Centre, situated at the heart of Łódź, is one of the largest commercial centres in Poland and Europe. Its location is significant — Izrael Poznański, a famous entrepreneur, established one of the largest textile factories here in the 19th century. Most of the exteriors of the original buildings – except for the main shopping gallery – have been preserved, giving the place a special ambience. The most representative part of the complex is the former five-storey cotton-spinning mill, which will soon be turned into a four-star hotel. Manufaktura, being certified by Polish Tourist Organisation, is not only a shopping centre, but also a cultural centre – one can visit artistic exhibitions and learn about the history of Łódź. It also has a lot to offer to people of all ages – adults and kids can go to an interactive museum, cinema or sports centre.
Oscar Kon Palace
Despite lacking the exterior ornaments so popular in the nineteenth century, this building is of a unique nature. The reason for this is that in the late 1940s it was selected to become the headquarters of the famous Łódź Film School. Thanks to such celebrities as Kieślowski, Polański and Wajda, the building became famous not only in Europe, but all over the world.
Radegast (Radogoszcz) is a former railway station, built during World War II next to the Łódź Ghetto to serve as its main transport link to the “outside world”. During the Holocaust, this station was where Jews and other inhabitants of Łódź were gathered for transportation to death camps. In 2 years about 150,000 Jews passed through the station on the way to their demise.
In 2005 this former station building was transformed into a Holocaust museum and a monument commemorating the Jewish victims was unveiled.