Designed by Hilary Majewski, a graduate of St. Petersburg University, the mills were built in a red-brick industrial style, incorporating the occasional Art Nouveau flourish. They were the property of Izrael Poznański, a Jewish merchant who saw the need for high quality textiles on the eastern markets of Russia, Japan and China. As Łódź was at the time the most westerly city in the Russian Empire, Poznański was able to match western textile expertise and industrial practices with limitless access to eastern markets. It was a winning combination, and one that made him a fortune and put Łódź on the map.
French developer Apsys bought the site in 2000. Work began on transforming the crumbling mills into a multifaceted cultural extravaganza in 2003. The opening of the site on May 17, 2006 was therefore the culmination of more than five years of planning and construction. The results are simply stunning.
The original 19th century brick buildings remain the focal point of the complex, having been entirely renovated: some brick by brick, with only the chimney stacks which once dominated the horizon missing. Director David Lynch was so impressed he shot part of his film Inland Empire, on the premises. In all, more than 90,000m2 of red brick buildings have been restored and completely refitted. An equal amount of new buildings – mainly the shopping centre - have gone up alongside, while commie leftovers from the Poltex factory days have been demolished.
The restoration of the old factories quite simply has to be seen to be believed. Enter through the Poznański gate, where workers used to file through every day on their way to the mills, and you’ll arrive at the project's ground zero: the Rynek (main square). In summer, this place really comes into its element, with a phalanx of beer gardens, an artificial beach and open-air concerts by international names.
The Manufaktura complex today is the direct result of Poland’s largest renovation project since the reconstruction of Warsaw’s Old Town in the 1950s (something you can read about in the Warsaw edition of In Your Pocket). The history of the site is one of
Of all the museums in Łódź you won’t find any that are better geared towards the foreign visitor. All displays are complemented with thorough English explanations that put the majority of Polish museums to shame. Occupying a second floor space next to Ma
Inside the breathtaking Neo-Baroque former residence of Łódź manufacturer Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznański, this museum within a museum, dedicated to the relatively short life and times of Poland's second city from the end of the 19th century to the outbreak
A blinding beer hall with outstanding lager that’s so good you’ll want to take it away – and the good news is that you can. Find the house beers available to go in either nifty little bottles or five litre barrels. But there’s more to Bierhalle than beer
It's the best hotel in town, so it's no surprise the house restaurant is staking a claim as the best eatery around. Set to a neo-industrial background, Delight has a naff name but a chef (Mirosław Jabłoński) who is a star in the making. It's vast size
Swimming, sauna and massage treatments on the top-floor glass encased rooftop of the designer Hotel Vienna House Andel's Lodz. The interior designs and views of the city all contribute to providing you with a soothing and relaxing experience - and tha
Praised recently by the New York Times, no less, which is no surprise considering the effort invested in Łódź’s top hotel. Set in a former red brick factory the first thing to strike the visitor is the size – namely a huge, white lobby manned by young
Although the chances are you'll most likely come here during the day or early evening for some top quality steaks (the kitchen is open 13:00-23:30), there's no doubt you'll end up finding yourself able to stay way longer to enjoy the delights of...cockta