Lódz is the third-largest city in Poland. Located in the central part of the country. It is the capital of Lódz Voivodeship, and is approximately 135 kilometres (84 mi) south-west of Warsaw. The city’s coat of arms is an example of canting: depicting a boat, it alludes to the city’s name which translates literally as “boat”.
Lódz first appears in the written record in a 1332 document giving the village of Lodzia to the bishops ofWroclawek. In 1423 King W?adys?aw Jagie??o granted city rights to the village of Lódz. From then until the 18th century the town remained a small settlement on a trade route between Masovia and Silesia. In the 16th century the town had fewer than 800 inhabitants, mostly working on the nearby grain farms.
With the second partition of Poland in 1793, Lódz became part of the Kingdom of Prussia’s province ofSouth Prussia, and was known in German as Lodsch. In 1798 the Prussians nationalised the town, and it lost its status as a town of the bishops of Kuyavia. In 1806 Lódz joined the Napoleonic Duchy of Warsawand in 1810 it had 190 inhabitants. In the 1815 Congress of Vienna treaty it became part of Congress Poland, a client state of the Russian Empire.
Piotrkowska Street is the main artery and attraction stretching north to south for a little over five kilometres, making it (one of) the longest commercial streets in the world. A few of the building fronts have been renovated and date back to the 19th century.
Although ?ód? does not have any hills nor any large body of water, one can still get close to nature in one of the city’s many parks, most notably ?agiewniki (the largest city park in Europe). ?ód? has one of the best museums of modern art in Poland, Muzeum Sztuki on Wi?ckowskiego Street, which displays art by all important contemporary Polish artists. Despite insufficient exhibition space (many very impressive paintings and sculptures lie in storage in the basement), there are plans to move the museum to a larger space in the near future. There is also a branch of Muzeum Sztuki called MS2 located in the area of ?ód? largest mall “Manufaktura”.
Another popular source of recreation is the Lunapark, an amusement park featuring about two dozen attractions including an 18 metre tall roller coaster and two dozen other rides and features, located near the city’s zoo and its botanical gardens. The largest 19th Century textile factory complex which was built by Izrael Poznanski has been turned into ashopping centre called “Manufaktura” which is an example of a modern business which operates in restored nineteenth century buildings.
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