Piotrokowska Street

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JGuide LO PI BU 3S

The tour along Piotrokowska Street will follow the development of the street and the Jewish settlement on it.
Here were centered renowned Jewish personas that significantly influenced the life of the city in the following aspects, such as: economy, culture, society and politics.
Join us for a tour in the footsteps of the street inhabitants, past and present ones.


If arriving by a private car, park it around the house of Arthur Rubinstein, (no. 78). From there we'll head north to Wolności square.

When arriving by train from Warsaw (an hour and 40 minutes), or Krakow to Terminal 'West', a taxi will get you to the city center within a few minutes (approx. 20 Zloty), or by bus, which will get you to Wolności square.
The tour can be done by either walking, or by a rickshaw (2.5 Zloty - day fare; 4 Zloty - night fare).

We start the tour at the northern end of the street, near the statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko on Wolności square (Liberty square) indicating the independence of the Polish nation. In the past, this square was the market center of the new city, and here stood the old town hall since 1827. We'll continue along the street, heading south.
Piotrkowska Street became the main historical, commercial and social street of Lodz, sprawling from north to south along approximately 4 Km.
Special atmosphere is characterizing the buildings established here at the second half of the 19th century and in early 20th century. Today, the scenery of the street is a mixture of neo renaissance and art nouveau buildings, hosting restaurants, pubs and hot dogs stands.
The street was named Piotrokowska in 1825 by its mayor Czarkowski, who decided to mark the streets for postal services. In those days the end of the street led to the road to Piotrokow town, hence it was named Piotrokowska, (to Piotrokow).
The origin of the name was Pewter, who the Russian tsar from the ruling Romanoff Dynasty, at the time of the Russian government in the area lasted one hundred years, post the Napoleon war.
The street developed in the new city - the Neischtadt, an area which was forbidden for Jews, for neither living nor trading. The Jews were centered in the old city - Altsztadt, or in the Jewish ghetto, and were allowed to live only within those areas.
In 1825, two Jewish families were permitted by the Russian governor in Poland – the 'Enlightened Master' according to the 'Jewish Ghetto Law' in Lodz, to live outside the ghetto, once fulfilling the following conditions: proving that they have 20,000 Zlotys in cash, and having no debts; the head of the family should be a banker or an honest merchant, fluent in Polish and French, or at least in German; his children, older than 7, should study in public schools with children of other nations; did not use 'external symbols' differentiating members of the 'Old Testament' from other inhabitants.
In addition to those families, every Jew could live with his family on any of Lodz streets, if fulfilled in addition to the above mentioned conditions, the following ones:
1. Established a factory for the country's benefit and would employ workers of his religion.
2. Purchased a plot of land on which built his house.
3. Educated or had a free occupation such as a doctor or a painter.
4. Wholesaler who did not trade with liquors.
In spite of the alleviations, the Jewish settlement in the new city was accompanied by many crises. Each settlement permit was followed by an exile or exile attempts from Christian inhabitants, claiming that the Jews were competing with them and robbing their livelihood.
When the municipality was requested by the strangling Jews in the crowded ghetto to expand the area and build outside it, they were turned down, claiming that they were trying to invade the industrial center on the main street Piotrkowska, taking over the Christians and filled the city with despised commerce instead of the existing work and industry there.
But slowly, slowly with the emancipation, the Jewish settlement expanded and reached Piotrkowska Street that turned into a mixed street with a large Jewish presence.
During the German occupation in the Second World War when Lodz became Litzmannstadt, and turned into an attached city to Germany, Piotrokowska Street was named Adolf Hitlerstrasse, after the dictator who exterminated the Jewish nation in Europe.
The street was outside the ghetto premises that were established in 1941, but upon its establishment, the Germans reached Piotrkowska Street and instructed the Jews to move out into the ghetto. Whoever was delayed was shot and the whole area was covered with the blood of the deceased.
When walking from Wolności southward, the impaired buildings will be on the right and the paired ones on the left.
Most of the past Lodz industrialists were the inhabitants of this magnificent street, establishing their residences in palaces with exquisitely designed façades, ornamented with relieves of: dolphins, dragons and demons. The street's large numbered buildings were the industrial ones and some of their owners lived on the first part of the street. When walking along the street, one should look up to all sides in order to grasp the design of the building roofs and their upper parts.

Monuments and Statues in Lodz
Walking tour of Piotrkowska Street – in Polish