Piotrowska street in Lodz
Piotrkowska Street, situated between Wolnosci and Niepodleglosci Squares, is the most elegant of all the city streets. It is also one of the major attractions of Lodz. Once it was part of the route, joining the oldest part of the city with the clothiers’ settlement (Nowe Miasto) and cotton workers’ settlement (Lodka) to Piotrkow Trybunalski. Hence, the name of the street. Though this four-kilometer-long street is not the longest one in the city, it is certainly a symbol of Lodz. It is also one of the longest promenades in Europe. Formally, it is not a pedestrianized area but the street with limited traffic. Thus, not a promenade in the full meaning of the word.
In the beginning the street was lined with simple one-storey houses for the weavers-settlers, which in the course of time, with the textile industry development, were transformed into elegant houses and palaces erected in a variety of architectural styles. Piotrkowska Street has always been the central axis along which the whole city developed. However, between 1945 and 1990 it was falling in decline. Fortunately, after 1990 Marek Janiak, local architect founded the Piotrkowska Street Foundation thanks to which the neglected street has been revitalized and transformed into the commercial and entertainment centre of Lodz. The buildings with their facades, lean-tos and yards have been renovated. Nowadays Piotrkowska Street is the axis of Lodz and its environs. It is here that major public administration offices, banks, pubs, restaurants and shops are situated. For the locals Piotrkowska, referred to as ”Pietryna”, is a sentimental, political and culture centre of Lodz. It is also a business centre as two large commercial centres ”Galeria Lodzka” and ”Centrum Manufaktury” were erected at the opposite ends of Piotrkowska Street.