Street Art in Łódź

Piotrkowska 152, City of Łódź. Mural by Meisal i Bary from Łódź.

Raw and industrial, Łódź [pronounced like Woodge] is not a beautiful city. Located in the centre of Poland, it is little known and unlikely to appear on bucket lists. David Lynch came here to film Inland Empire. He found enough derelict buildings, crumbling plaster and smashed windows for his gloomy scenes.

In the 19th century, Łódź was Europe’s textile capital. Job seekers flocked to the city to find work and Łódź was soon called “the promised land”. Alongside with the textile industry, it became a cradle of cinematography. Famous directors such as Roman Polański and Andrzej Wajda graduated from the Łódź National Film School.

But there is more. Łódź has also amazing street art – muraly in Polish. I walked for hours through the city’s long, rectangular streets, discovering only a fraction of its plethora of murals.

Street art is nothing new in Poland. In communist times, it was used to advertise state-owned companies. The giant butterfly in ulica Sienkiewicza is an example.

In 2009, the Urban Forms Foundation invited artists from all over the world to paint large murals on the city’s concrete walls. Polish artists were also represented. The photographs below were taken during my visit in August 2020.

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In 1940, Łódź was renamed Litzmannstadt by the Nazis who found the Polish name impossible to pronounce. More about this soon – in German.

Sienkiewicza 18. Probably the most famous mural: Artur Rubenstein, a Łódź native. By Kobra from Brazil.

 

Jana Kilińskiego 129. Common Swift made of waste metal. By Bordalo II from Portugal.

Nowomiejska 7. By Roa from Belgium.

Jana Kilińskiego 73. Artist unknown.

Jana Kilińskiego 27/29. “Czuć” (“Feel”) by Alexis Diaz from Puerto Rico.

Prezydenta Franklina Delano Roosevelta 5. By Ariz from Spain.

Generala Romualda Traugutta 7. “Space for Rent”. Artist unknown.

Adama Próchnika 16. Artist unknown.

Backyard in Rewolucji 1905 Roku 19. Artist unknown.

Jana Kilińskiego 47. Artist unknown.

Sienkiewicza 22. Advertising of Pewex, a chain of shops founded in 1972 to combat Poland’s foreign currency deficit. Payment was possible only in USD or other hard currency.

Jana Kilińskiego 73

Generala Romualda Traugutta 8

In Piotrkowska, one of the world’s longest pedestrian zones, Polish Rikshaw drivers offer their services.

Łódź Rikshaws have their local vibes.

Łódź Fabryczna Railway Station was wonderfully rebuilt in 2014.

Łódź Fabryczna Railway Station

Waiting room in Łódź Fabryczna

Tram stop in Aleja Tadeusza Kościuszki

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