Lodz, Poland – A Promised Land in the New Europe

Lodz, Poland – Old vodka factory in ul. Kopcinskiego [©Enzo Signorelli photographer]
Lodz is an industrial town, the second largest in Poland, which was “a promised land” during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. These years have been well described in Andrzej Wajda’s movie, derived from the Wladyslaw Reymont’s book “Promised Land”. Reymont won the Nobel Award in 1927. Wajda in the ‘ 50 learnt at the prestigious National Film School in Lodz, where studied Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, also Roman Polanski. Arthur Rubinstein, one of the greatest pianists of the century, was also born in Lodz. I went to the town for a shooting about the factories of an important Italian company. I had a very poor knowledge of Lodz’s culture and its architecture. In Lodz there are neither tourists, nor souvenir of stores. Lodz is an ordinary working city. Today, following the inclusion of Poland in European Community, Lodz has become a promised land, once again, for buildings and modern industry. The old factories are being rebuilt and turned into offices, lofts, shopping centers and art galleries. Modern buildings and new factories are growing up near the Mittel-European boulevards, socialist blocks, liberty palaces in downtown, and the old brick factories. Monuments from the past, still living in the present.

Enzo Signorelli

© 2008-2014 Unauthorized Reproduction Prohibited

Lodz, Poland – Sports Hall in aleja Politechniki [©Enzo Signorelli photographer]
Lodz è una città industriale, la seconda per grandezza della Polonia, vera e propria “terra promessa” ai tempi della rivoluzione industriale. Quegli anni sono stati ben raccontati in un film di Andrzej Wajda, tratto dall’omonimo romanzo “Terra promessa” del premio nobel Wladyslaw Reymont. Wajda aveva studiato a Lodz nella prestigiosa scuola di cinematografia dove si sono formati Kieslowski, Polanski e tanti altri. A Lodz è nato uno dei più grandi pianisti del secolo: Arthur Rubinstein. Ero arrivato in città per fotografare alcuni stabilimenti di una grande società italiana e non sapevo del suo background culturale, né della sua particolare architettura. Del resto a Lodz non ci sono turisti, negozi di souvenir, avventurieri e prostitute negli hotel. E’ una città di lavoro, praticamente sconosciuta. Negli ultimi anni, con l’ingresso della Polonia nella Comunità Europea, Lodz è tornata ad essere, per la seconda volta in quasi due secoli, “terra promessa” per l’edilizia e per la grande industria moderna. E così le vecchie fabbriche di mattoni sono stati in parte riconvertiti in uffici, loft, centri commerciali, gallerie d’arte. Nuovi edifici e moderni stabilimenti sorgono accanto ai boulevard mitteleuropei, ai blocks del socialismo, ai palazzi liberty del centro, alle grandi fabbriche di mattoni dell’Ottocento. Monumenti di un’era non ancora conclusa.

© Enzo Signorelli

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Lodz, Poland - Old factory demolition and rebuilding near aleja Politechniki [©Enzo Signorelli photographer]
Lodz, Poland – Old factory demolition and rebuilding near aleja Politechniki [©Enzo Signorelli photographer]
Lodz, Poland - Old advertising in ul. Tymienieckiego [©Enzo Signorelli photographer]
Lodz, Poland – Old advertising in ul. Tymienieckiego [©Enzo Signorelli photographer]
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6 thoughts on “Lodz, Poland – A Promised Land in the New Europe”

  1. Hello,
    The city is changing constantly. Your pictures have already a value of history/document. That “old advertising in ul. Tymienieckiego” doesn’t exist anymore, probably will be a new buidling there. That plane in front of the Sports Hall in aleja Politechniki is already removed.
    Please mind that the picture – which I adore very much – titled “Old textile factory in ul. Kopcinskiego” in fact is showing an old vodka factory (today a new project is starting there, R.Horovitz is already inside). Do you consider to join Fotofestiwal in Lodz with your pictures? http://www.fotofestiwal.com/2014/en/?langmain=en It would be nice to see them again in our city.

    1. Hello Marzi, thank you very much for your contribute. Yes, of course I would like to come back, reporting the new city and meet my special friends there. About Lodz Fotofestiwal, It could be a very nice opportunity. I am looking forward to get an invite…

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