Łódź flourished during the industrial boom of the 19th and 20th centuries. Thanks to extensive investments and the hard labor of Jews, Germans, Russians, and Poles, it became the leading manufacturer

of textiles in Europe. Entrepreneurs had their handsome residences built close to their factories. These elegant palaces are now part of Piotrkowska Street: the city’s busiest commercial artery with its inimitable atmosphere formed by boutiques, clubs, pubs, and monuments commemorating famous Polish artists. Each May, the backyards in  Piotrkowska Street become the venue for the artistic events of the Łódź Four Cultures Festival (Festiwal Łódź Czterech Kultur). The organizers allude to the mixture of ethnicities, languages, and religions in the old Łódź.

Łódź is home to a film and theatre academy, whose famous graduates such as Roman Polański, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieślowski have become part of the history of cinematography. Just as in Hollywood, Piotrkowska Street has its own Walk of Fame, honoring distinguished Polish actors and filmmakers. The streets of Łódź have so far provided the setting for over two hundred films and television series. Two films produced by the studio went on to win Oscars. The museums of Cinematography and Animation provide an insight into the local filmmaking history. Łódź is also a trend-setting town when it comes to fashion. Polish designers and stylists present their works in competition with the designs of such top fashion houses as Kenzo, Prada or Gucci. During the “Fashion Week Poland,” held twice per year, the eyes of all media are focused on the self-named Designers Avenue (Aleja Projektantów).

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