Manufaktura in Łódź is the biggest shopping, service and entertainment centre in Poland. It is situated in the centre of Łódź, enclosed by Zachodnia, Ogrodowa, Drewnowska and Karskiego Streets.
The surface of the whole centre amounts to 27 hectares, including 9 hectares of refurbished monumental building development, 9,5 hectares of newly built surface and a spacious three-hectare market square. The market holds an ice rink in the winter and a spacious beach in the summer. There is also a 300-metre long (the longest in Europe) fountain in which the water dances to the rhythm of music. Approximately 200 million Euros was spent to construct the shopping centre which actually is a new part of town.
The centre was built based on the structures created by Izrael Poznański, a textile magnate from Łódź. In thirty years, since 1871, on a surface equal to 27 soccer fields, a complex of weaving and spinning mills and auxiliary plants was constructed. In the shadow of the textile industry, which dominated in the city, several branches of heavy industry also developed: a department of machine repair and construction, ironworks, a foundry, a locomotive shed, gas-works, a fire station, storehouses, railway siding, and finally the counting house of the factory, housing for workers and the factory owner’s residence. Not too long ago an industrial city, today an entertainment and shopping centre.
The revitalization which lasted a total of five years covered a dozen or so halls and post-production buildings. While rebuilding the old factory the architects tried to preserve the old atmosphere of the place. At the same time the most modern equipment was inserted into the old red walls. The old five-storey cotton spinning mill at Ogrodowa Street is the most often photographed site. It was built in 1877-78, as one of the first buildings of the plant. In 2008, it will be home to a luxurious four-star hotel and conference centre. The main shopping gallery made of glass and steel, contrasts with the old building development.
Manufaktura, apart from world-famous and renowned Polish brands, offers a wide range of attractive services. It is possible to practice sports in the entertainment and recreation centre. On top of this a skate park, “roll arena“, bowling alley, fitness club and an artificial climbing wall with 28 starting points is located here. After all the physical effort a huge cinema is at your disposal.