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First references to Łódź can be dated back to the 13th century. In 1332, the very name “Łódź” came to be used with reference to a village located on the Piotrków Route. At the beginning of the 15th century it was a small village of little importance. According to historical sources, there were only 44 homesteads. In the beginning of the 15th century, precisely in 1414, efforts were taken on the initiative of the bishops from Kujawy to gain municipal rights for the village. On 15 July 1423, those efforts ended in success: Łódź was granted municipal rights by King Władysław Jagiełło – that was the moment when the history of the city of Łódź began.

The inhabitants of Łódź for years had been making their living through commerce. The 16th century was a time of economic development; the number of inhabitants rose to almost one thousand citizens. The town hall constituted the central point of the town. Łódź had also its school and church. Several young men living in the town even managed to be admitted to Cracow Academy. Unfortunately, that heyday ended due to epidemics, fires and, particularly, hostilities during the so-called Swedish Deluge, which led to the downfall of Łódź ‒ the number of inhabitants fell drastically with only about 200 survivors. 

In the wake of the partitions, Łódź became part of the Prussian Partition. The invader undertook actions aimed at depriving Łódź of its municipal rights. Fortunately, those actions were stopped with the arrival of the Legions under General Dąbrowski. 1793 saw actions on the part of the partitioner undertaken to transform Łódź into a village. The 19th century saw another growth of Łódź: in 1820 Łódź had as many as 700,000 inhabitants and was called a “city of factories." That was the time when a plan for creating the so-called “New City” was developed. The plan provided for construction of an octagonal market square in the town centre that was supposed to be intersected by the Piotrkowska Street, located in the very place where the Mediaeval route had run. The street was named “Piotrkowska” in 1823. Today it is the most famous street in Łódź. Further information about Piotrkowska street.

The city owes its development (particularly industrial development) to Stanisław Staszic and Rajmund Rembieliński, who appreciated its convenient conditions for textile industry. A law was introduced at the time under which any person who had weaving skills (and managed to prove them) could be granted the right of perpetual lease for a plot of land of 20 morgens. Moreover, the authorities offered also the wood necessary to build a house. Not only were weavers respected and held in high esteem but they also enjoyed a number of official privileges, such as tax exemptions for a period of 6 years. This made settlers from the regions of Germany, Bohemia, Saxony, Wielkopolska or Silesia ever more eager to take up work and residence in Łódź. The dynamic development of the city came to a slight halt with the outbreak of the January Uprising in 1830. Once the insurgency operations had been over, demand for textiles rose and the city saw another inflow of settlers.

As Łódź developed, an industrial zone came into being as a separate district with its own school, fire brigade, railway, shops and hospital. Impressive with its technological solutions and advanced technology, that part of the city contrasted with other districts of Łódź. Textile workers, who contributed to the success of the district through their work, were subject to exploitation .Consequently, public sentiments became bad. Unable to endure difficult life conditions, weavers working in factories in Łódź decided to stage an open rebellion in 1861. The rising was quite tumultuous and involved destruction of machines.

Since the beginning of the 19th century, the population of Łódź rose from 1,000 to 300,000 inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century. Before the outbreak of the First World War there were as many as 500,000 inhabitants. Up till the end of the 19th century, Łódź had been perceived as a large settlement with numerous factories. The beginning of the 20th century saw its gradual rise to significance as a centre of big industry.

One should emphasise the significance of families of prominent industrialists in Łódź - the Kunitzers, Kohns, Poznański, Grohmans and Heinzels. They significantly contributed to the development of the city– not only in the field of industry but also culture by founding parks or financing theatres. At the turn of the 20th century, Łódź was a multicultural city – further information.

Łódź sustained heavy losses in the wake of the First World War. The retreating Russian troops stole machines with impunity, while the Prussian army destroyed and set fire to factories, suspecting that firearms could have been manufactured there. In 1919, Łódź was the first city in Poland to introduce compulsory education. The post-war period was a time of intensive and organised development of industry supported by the municipal authorities.

During the Second World War, the achievements of Łódź in the field of industry during the interwar period were squandered. The German troops conducted organised processes aimed at eradicating all manifestations of Polish national identity or achievements of Polish engineering solutions; schools were being closed down and museums robbed. The Jewish population suffered as well. About 200,000 Jews were placed in a ghetto  – further information about the ghetto in Lodz (Litzsmannstad Getto).

The city itself and its buildings, however, survived the war almost unscathed.

Further information about the history of Lodz.

Other interesting websites about Lodz.

Folders and leaflets for download (in various languages): “Tourist Highlights,” “Following the Route of Industrial Architecture,” “Villas and palaces,” “The routes of the Piotrkowska street,” “Following the history of the Jews in Łódź”, “Following the route of murals in Łódź,” “The route of film heritage,” “Fairy-tale Łódź,” cycling paths and information about higher education in Łódź. 

Comment

Podsyłam coś ciekawego o Łodzi https://cyfrowa.tvp.pl/video/spoleczenstwo,forum-i-co-dalej,58343739
A po wojnie co się stało ?
To kiedy to powstanie styczniowe???? Hmmm

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