Due to its extremely dynamic development in the period of industrial revolution, Lodz is often compared to Manchester – the largest 19th century textile industry center in the world. Lodz is therefore often called the “Polish Manchester”. One of the first steam engines in the Kingdom of Poland was run at Ludwik Geyer’s White Factory in 1839 and it was here that the first factory chimney appeared on the Lodz skyline.
Today the post-factory building houses the unique in the country Central Museum of Textiles. Exhibits from the industrial Lodz can also be seen at the Museum of Factory in Manufaktura, while its history can be learned at the factory owners’ houses, such as the palace of Izrael Poznański (nowadays Museum of the City of Lodz), or the palace of Karol Scheibler (current Museum of Cinematography). Even the city’s bugle call, which is “The Spinner”, refers to the industrial heritage of Lodz.
In the beginning of the 20th century, in the peak period of the industrial development of Lodz, approximately 600 industrial plants operated in the city. It comes as no surprise then that Tuwim called the Lodz of this time a “chimney town”. Although since the end of the 20th century textile production has ceased in Lodz, the city’s landscapes still abound in enormous buildings of cotton or weaving mills. Those of them that have been revitalized are used for different purposes now – they are lofts, hotels, offices, shops, or spaces used for artistic events, such as concerts or exhibitions. In 2015 the multicultural landscape of the Industrial Lodz was entered to the prestigious list of Historical Monuments by the President of Poland.