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Rivers of Łódź

One question you might ask in a moment of rare contemplation is where the name Łódź came from. Well, it means boat, as in the kind that appears on the city’s coat of arms. But why the boat when there’s not a river in sight? It’s a question worth pondering. The fact is prior to engineering breakthroughs this was very much a city on the water. In total the city has 18 rivers running through it, covering a staggering span of 123.9km.

It was rivers such as the Ner and the Bzura that kept Łódź’s factories connected with the outside world, though over time chronic pollution led to a campaign to cover them. It was a process that lasted well into the 1920s, though now the buzzword is restoration. Already the Sokołówka has been given the beauty treatment, and next in line is the Jasień. The environmental project has so far proved a success, with trout spotted in the Sokołówka, and even a crayfish – granted, it’s not the piranha that appeared in the Wisła last year, but it’ll do for now.

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