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Piotrkowska Street - Symbol of Lodz

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Piotrkowska Street – symbol of Lodz and its history

Piotrkowska Street, situated between Wolnosci and Niepodleglosci Squares, is the most elegant of all the city streets. It is also one of the major attractions of Lodz. Once it was part of the route, joining the oldest part of the city with the clothiers' settlement (Nowe Miasto) and cotton workers' settlement (Lodka) to Piotrkow Trybunalski. Hence, the name of the street. Though this four-kilometre-long street is not the longest one in the city, it is certainly a symbol of Lodz. It is also one of the longest promenades in Europe. Formally, it is not a pedestrianized area but the street with limited traffic. Thus, not a promenade in the full meaning of the word.
In the beginning the street was lined with simple one-storey houses for the weavers-settlers, which in the course of time, with the textile industry development, were transformed into elegant houses and palaces erected in a variety of architectural styles.

Revitalised Piotrkowska Street

piotrkowska streetPiotrkowska Street has always been the central axis along which the whole city developed. However, between 1945 and 1990 it was falling in decline. Fortunately, after 1990 Marek Janiak, local architect founded the Piotrkowska Street Fundation thanks to which the neglected street has been revitalised and transformed into the commercial and entertainment centre of Lodz. The buildings with their facades, lean-tos and yards have been renovated.
Nowadays Piotrkowska Street is the axis of Lodz and its environs. It is here that major public administration offices, banks, pubs, restaurants and shops are situated. For the locals Piotrkowska, referred to as ''Pietryna'', is a sentimental, political and culture centre of Lodz. It is also a business centre as two large commercial centres ''Galeria Lodzka'' and ''Centrum Manufaktury'' were erected at the opposite ends of Piotrkowska Street.

Southern and northern parts of Piotrkowska Street

Since its origins, dating back to the 1820s, the northern part of Piotrkowska Street (the pedestrianized one) has been regarded as the most elegant one lined with monumental palaces and townhouses, varied in their designs, with renovated facades. This part of Piotrkowska Street is famous not only for its architecture, but for its numerous restaurants and pubs.The southern part of Piotrkowska Street is accessible for traffic and in its architectural design reflecting the industrial past of this part of Lodz. Both parts are worth seeing.

Rickshaw or trambus

As there is no regular public transport system along Piotrkowska Street, the best way of seeing the street is walking. There are two other options worth recommending: taking a rickshaw or a trambus. The former is not just a tourist attraction but a means of transport very popular with the locals of Lodz. In March 2006 there were as many as 100 rickskaws available in Piotrkowska Street. A historical trambus is also a perfect way of seeing the main attractions of the city of Lodz.

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