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What to See Walking along Piotrkowska Street

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The main attraction of Piotrkowska Street, the most elegant street of Lodz, is its varied architecture. The street is lined with beautiful monumental palaces and townhouses, most of which used to belong to the owners of textile factories of 19th -century Lodz. Recently renovated, the buildings have become historical monuments.Most of them are situated in the northern part of Piotrkowska Street.

As the streets abounds in architectural pearls, walking along it is a must while touring the city of Lodz. The following list of the most valuable historical monuments of Piotrkowska Street will be your guide!

No. 2/4 – The first building, worth having a glance at, is the monumental Church of the Holy Trinity. It used to be Evangelicals' temple, but it is nowadays used by Roman Catholics. In its original classical style, the Holy Trinity Church together with the Town Hall, situated opposite, used to serve as a symbolic entrance gate leading into Piotrkowska Street. These were the first of the most elegant edifices of Lodz.

No. 11 – the three-storey corner building, due to its architectural beauty, is called ''Scheibler's Palace''. Dating from 1882, the house was designed by Hilary Majewski, the most famous architect of Lodz. Scheibler's Palace, one of the luxury houses of the late 19th-century bourgeoisie, was modelled on the Italian late Renaissance. This monumental palace with a polygonal dome crowning the house corner used to be a part of Scheibler's industrial complex.

Opposite at No. 12 an eclectic building with lavishly decorated frontage windows catches tourists' eyes with the window finials different on each floor: classical ones on the first floor, Mauretanian ones on the second floor and Renaissance ones in style on the third floor. The mansard roof with dormers is also worth paying attention to. On the western elevation there is a sundial. It was designed by David Lande, the most original architect of Lodz of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

No.14 - the classicistic house of Jan Peter, one of the few houses, dating from the origins of the city, which have been preserved till the present day.

No 29 - the former Wilhelm Landau's Bank House, dating from 1903, used to be a branch of a Warsaw bank. Nowadays it also houses a bank with a richly ornamented frontage typical of Art Nouveau and Baroque. It is one of the most impressive buildings in Piotrkowska Street. The Neo-Baroque is perfectly combined with the Art Nouveau details. The bank owner liked the design so much that Gustav Landau-Gutenteger was commissioned to build the bank seat in Warsaw. The building, preserved till the present day, is among the most interesting examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

No. 32 ''Creators of Industrial Lodz'' is one of the sculptures in the ''Gallery of the Great Citizens of Lodz'' series, por traying the most outstanding inhabitants of Lodz. Here the three greatest manufacturers of the 19th-century Lodz: Scheibler, Poznanski and Grohman are signing an intent letter for the development of Lodz. It is the latest scultpure of the series of monuments which are also meant as benches for strollers. There are some chairs not taken so one can sit next to them.While sitting, it is a good idea to rub a nose of one of the figures portrayed, which is believed to bring good luck

No.37 Jakub Szmulowicz House, the Art Nouveau-styled building, was also designed by Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger. It is regarded as the best architectural work of the early 20th century. The three-storey house has a bay window, a little patio with columns and it is crowned with a dome.

No. 43 - the house belonged to Oskar Kon, one of the most famous manufacturers of Lodz. This building, erected in 1902, boasts a lavishly ornamented facade – regarded as one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau compositions in Poland. The decorations, consisting of flowers, branches and chestnut leaves in particular, gave the house its name - ''Under Chestnuts Tenement House''.

No 53 – The building, eclectic in style, was once regarded as one of the most charming in the architecture of Lodz. It belonged to Herman Kondstadt, famous Jewish merchant. Erected in 1885, by Juliusz Jung, famous Paris Fine Arts Academy graduate, the edifice was modelled on the French Neo-Renaissance. The distinctive features incude a mansard roof and a cast iron balustrade on top of the building. Due to the Atlantes support columns, the edifice is often referred to as ''Under Atlantes House''.

No 56 – Neo-Baroque house with characteristic corner niches filled with men and women clad in Renaissance outfits. It is a typical building targeted for commercial and residential purposes, built in 1912 by David Lande, for one of the textile factory owners of industrial Lodz.

grand lodzNo. 72 - At the junction of Piotrkowska Street and Traugutta Street the Grand Hotel is situated. Erected at the site of a former textile factory, the hotel has always been one of the most modern hotels in Poland. The Grand Hotel hosted such personalities as Henryk Sienkiewicz, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Jan Kiepura. Between 1912-1913 the hotel was expanded and renovated. Both the interior and the facade were redesigned by David Lande. It is still considered to be the most elegant of all the hotels of Lodz.

Between Moniuszki Street and Rubinsteina Pasaz there is ''Star Alley of Lodz'' which emphasises the film traditions of the city of Lodz. It copies the world-famous Hollywood alley of the most prominent film stars. The pavement on both sides of the street is covered with brass stars with names of the most famous Polish actors, directors, operators, film score composers. The first star was unveiled by Andrzej Seweryn in 1997 as part of the 575th anniversary of Lodz town charter grant. Every year new ones are unveiled.

No. 77 Maximilian Goldfeder's Palace, dating from 1892, is a typical town centre residence, modelled on Italian late Renaissance. It combined both commercial and residential functions. The ground floor housed M. Goldfeder's Bank House, whereas upper storeys were lavishly decorated salons erected in varied architectural styles. Nowadays the salons are used by ''Klub Studencki 77'' , ''Klub spadkobiercow'' (one of the most stylish restaurants in Lodz), whereas the basement – Irish Pub.

No. 78 - ''Rubinstein's Piano'' is one of the ''Gallery of the Great Citizens of Lodz'' in honour of the famous pianist who spent his childhood in the nearby house. The pianist is sitting by the piano with a wing as its cover. Sit next to Rubinstein and listen to him playing for you!

No. 86 - ''Under Gutenberg House'', dating back to the end of the 19th century, is one of the most interesting buildings one can find in Piotrkowska Street. It was once owned by Jan Petersilge, who is reputed for issuing the first local newspaper. The facade ornamentations, modelled on the Middle Ages, northern Renaissance and Baroque, are strictly connected with the printing profession. Thus, the sculpture portraying Gutenberg, the print inventor, and reliefs with other personalities crucial for art and printing.

Nos. 98 – 148 – This part of Piotrkowska Street is covered with several hundred metres of cobblestones with the names of the inhabitants of Lodz – the patrons of this unique ''Monument of Citizens of Lodz at the Turn of the Millennium''. The monument keeps growing as each citizen of Lodz can purchase a plaque to be part of it. The aim of the project, initiated by Piotrkowska Street Foundation, is to promote the street as a modern business and cultural centre of Lodz and to commemorate the turn of the millenium and create an unconventional work of modern art.

No. 99 - Szai Goldblum's House, erected in 1898, is regarded as one of the most impressive of Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger's works. The donkey's back, Tudor arches as well as fanciful diabolic creatures and squires with coats of arms are part of the rich ornamentation. The assymetric composition of the facade, typical of the buildings of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, emphasizes the impression of the richness of architectural forms.

No. 100 - the former textile warehouse, is a beautifully decorated building with ornamentation typical of Art Nouveau: stylised flowers, the caduceus motif , an iron cast balustrade with plant motifs. In the 1930s the building housed a luxurious ''Esplanada'' Cafe attended by the interwar intellectual circles. Since 1990 a restaurant is situated here.

No. 104 – The palace, nowadays a seat of the city and voivodship authorities, used to be a residence owned by Juliusz Heinzl, one of the richest manufacturers in Lodz. The building consisted of the offices on the ground floor, elegant salons on the first floor and flats in the attic. The impressive Italian Renaissance facade with the piano nobile is crowned with three allegorical figures symbolising Freedom, Trade and Industry. Come here at noon to hear the bugle call of Lodz played by a trumpeter from the balcony of the Lodz Municipal and Voivodship Office.

piotrkowska streetIn front of the building one can sit next to Julian Tuwim, one of the most prominent Polish poets of Jewish origin. ''Tuwim's Bench'', the first sculpture of the pavement-level ''Gallery of the Great Citizens of Lodz'', portrays this poet born in Lodz, sitting on a bench with his ''Kwiaty Polskie'' book in his hand. The monument, loved by the inhabitants of Lodz, is a popular meeting place.

No. 107 – Henryk Sachs' House - one of the most interesting of all the buildings in Piotrkowska Street. The Neo-Renaissance building, erected in 1881, was extended and its facade was restyled. The rich eclectic ornamentation of the facade includes emperor eagles, festoons, bull's heads, mascarons, laurer leaves and swans.

No. 112 - Leon Schiller's monument is part of a passage dedicated to this prominent Polish theatre leader. High school students love it as their meeting place. It is also a venue for local cultural events. The restaurant and pub summer gardens as well as a fountain make it an attractive site.

No.128 - the Schicht Family Townhouse, dating from 1905, was also designed by Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger. The facade, richly ornamented, is worth seeing. The decorations include plant leaves, geometric figures, human and animal masks, etc. In the lean-to Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger, the most famous architect of Lodz, had his workshop.

No. 137 – ''Reymont's Coffer'' is one of the ''Gallery of the Great Citizens of Lodz'' sculptures. Here we can see a man sitting on a trunk and taking some notes. The monument portrays Wladyslaw Reymont, winner of the 1924 Nobel Prize in Literature, who came to Lodz in 1886 to collect material for his ''Promised Land'' novel. One can sit here next to Reymont and have a rest!

No. 137/139 - Juliusz Robert Kindermann Palace used to be a residence for the manufacturer's family. Designed by Karl Seidl, Viennese architect, it combines the Renaissance features from Rome, Florence and Venice. Of all the architectural details the mosaic, designed by Viennese painter, topping the richly ornamented facade is worth seeing. It depicts cotton harvest and transport, thus, it is strictly connected with the industrial past of Lodz. The beautiful interiors of the palace have been preserved till the present day, especially the stained glass window in the staircase. Both the palace and the mosaic are not completed due to a lack of funds, but, still the palace is a unique work of art.

No. 143 – This beautiful building was once owned by the Krusche and Ender Company which was not seated in Lodz. It was designed by David Lande, the most famous architect of that time. The Neo-Gothic and Mannerist architectural features decorate the facade. There is also a sun dial. The Art Nouveau polychromies, depicting flowers and dragons, make this building unique and distinct from other historical buildings in Piotrkowska Street.
 
No.152 is famous for a graffiti, the largest in Poland, depicting the symbolic sites of Lodz:
Wolnosci Square with Tadeusz Kosciuszko monument, the Old Town Hall, Church of the Holy Ghost, a historic tram and a boat with the city's coat of arms. The mural painting, made in 2001, covers the area of 900 square metres. This largest graffiti in the world is an internationally recognized Guinness World record.

Here at the junction of Piotrkowska Street and Pilsudskiego Alley the northern, more elegant part of Piotrkowska Street ends. The southern part also abounds in palaces and former factory buildings reflecting the industrial past of Lodz. If not tired, one can continue the stroll down Piotrkowska Street to see all the architectural pearls of the most charming street in Lodz.
 
 

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