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 of WWII, knocks you out from the moment you walk through the front door. Jammed full of exhibits tracing the history, people, culture and ups and downs of the city, find recreations of daily life from kitchen interiors to sections of streets. There are many fine examples of silverware and porcelain too, and rooms dedicated to many of the city's former inhabitants, including Łódź's unofficial Rubinstein museum (the only one in the world), giving over several rooms to the legendary Jewish pianist. Once this was the only section with English descriptions, but more and more sections are seeing translations added. The Jewish theme is admirably represented and includes a multimedia tribute to Jan Karski, the envoy of Poland's underground authorities who first alerted the West to the Holocaust. Thoroughly recommended.