For many newcomers and tourists alike, Łódź is an anomaly in many ways. The city has garnered much praise for its fantastic film pedigree and dynamic cultural calendar, placing it at the heart of Polish art and counter-culture. Economically and architecturally it is often compared with other post-industrial revitalisation success stories, such as Manchester and Rotterdam. This is all well and good, however Łódź remains impenetrable to many would-be visitors. Some basic information is needed before one can thrust oneself headlong into the all-night industrial warehouse parties and cut up the red carpet at film premieres. For example, how do I even pronounce the name of this city?! And where in the world is the city centre? Have no fear dear reader, IYP answers all these questions and many more.
Here's your first lesson in Polish: Łódź may look like it’s pronounced ‘Lodz,’ but it most certainly isn’t. You are now in ‘Woodge,’ and only three hundred years ago the hip bar or cafe you find yourself sitting in today would probably have been a wooden hut with a leak in the roof. In terms of age Łódź is one of the youngest cities in Poland, and a direct product of the Industrial Revolution. The birth of the textile industry saw Łódź dubbed ‘The Promised Land,’ with thousands flocking from central Europe, England and even Switzerland to make their fortunes.