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#Polska14 Day 2: Łódź and the special economic zone

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Day 2 of #Polska14 saw us travel to Łódź and the special economic zone. This area is super cool because, unlike the rest of Poland that has centuries worth of history, Łódź was founded in the 19th century by business owners. It was all factories, mostly industrialized textile factories for Ludwik Grohman. They were in use all the way until the 1980s when the textile industry collapsed, and the gorgeous 19th century factories fell into disrepair and were abandoned. Finally in 1997 the municipality of Łódź and private investors began to revitalize them. Over 10,000 bricks were cleaned by hand! Now the revitalized and gorgeous SEX is used for seven different sectors, including IT, conference space, food, cosmetics… but also, people live in these factories! Some have been converted into lofts and ateliers!

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There’s a British International School for the children of foreign workers, but recently Polish children were allowed to enroll as well. The curriculum is English and some are even in Japanese.

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There are 22 universities in Łódź. TWENTY-TWO! Toronto only has 3! It’s citizens are highly educated, and 92% of them speak English, 39% speak German, and 12% speak Russian (that latter stat would have been higher before the fall of communism, so it’s kind of interesting to see its decline).

 

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There are so many cool cultural festivals in Łódź. They have a design fest, a Fashion Week, an International Festival of Comics and Games, the Four Cultures fest, and the Light Move fest.

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And there are 27 palaces in Łódź. TWENTY-SEVEN!

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This merry-go-round was at the Manufaktura complex, a shopping and gastronomic area in a revitalized factory. The horses were freaking me out, I had to photograph them. The horses waited to be tamed….

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After Łódź we drove a few hours to Poznan where I am now. Stay tuned to #Polska14 for more from this awesome adventure!

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