A Palace to Remember

There is a magnificent palace in the heart of the city of Lodz, Poland. Built at the turn of the 20th century, it was the former residence of textile magnate Izrael Poznanski which now house the Museum of History of Lodz.

IMG_1424

The Poznanski palace is a neo-Baroque edifice that is richly decorated with architectural and sculptural details.

IMG_1429

Equally splendid are the interiors, as seen with these photos.

IMG_1373

IMG_1352

For some reason while inside this old house I felt like I was in the house of the fictional character Bruce Wayne, the alter ego of Batman. I should have looked for the secret passage way to the Bat Cave.

IMG_1355

The photo above and the one below, is the impressive dining hall. Note all the “unclothed” sculptures high above the walls. Should entering this room be PG-13?

IMG_1356

Below is a large auditorium where the guests of the previous resident of this palace where entertained. I would say that even if the events that occurred here were ordinary, the hall in itself is imposing.

DSC_0596

Below is the view to the outer court of the palace from one of the windows.

IMG_1370

Besides the palace which is already something to behold, the visitors of this museum will see exhibits tracing the history, people and culture of the city.

IMG_1360

IMG_1357

As you can see, it also exhibit articles that once were part of our lives but now are historical artifacts like the typewriter and the phonograph. You can even insert yourself in the history of this place. Well, sort of.

DSC_0610

There are also rooms dedicated to the many former inhabitants of the city, including the world famous pianist, Artur Rubenstein. Note the Victorian furnitures and expensive porcelains. Can you spot the porcelain “arinola” (chamber pot)?

IMG_1366

IMG_1362

IMG_1363

Also in exhibit is a collection of paintings and artworks.

IMG_1376

IMG_1375

My favorite art subject, anatomy.

IMG_1374

The photo below is an example of a clash in time. Looking at the mirror you see the design of the storied history, while looking outside the window you see billboards of modern fashion.

IMG_1383

Adjacent to this palace is a big shopping complex, named Manufaktura. Of course we visited it as well, as my wife find it irresistible not to wander there.

IMG_1441

Manufaktura is the site of the old sprawling textile factory built in the late 19th century, at the height of “steam-engine” industrialization, and was owned by Poznanski. This is now converted and renovated to a modern shopping and entertainment haven with hosts of stores, cinemas, restaurants, cafes and pubs. It is one of the biggest shopping complex in Europe.

IMG_1449

But what really brought us to the Poznanski palace is that it was the place of the “Koncert Laureatow” (translation: Winners’ Concert), where the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placers as well the honorable mentions of the 16th Milosz Magin International Piano Competition were invited to perform. The competition has 3 categories, the elementary level, the advanced, and the concert artists level.

The competition takes place every 2 years, and for the years past they were held in Paris, but this year it was moved to Lodz, the birthplace of the renowned pianist in whom the competition was named after.

IMG_1349

IMG_1350

Warming up on the piano before the concert starts.

DSC_0672

As I am impressed with this beautiful place, I am equally impressed and proud of my kids who were privileged to be included in the Koncert Laureautow.

DSC_0712

As the concert was going on, I felt happy and blessed. For a day, I was the owner of the palace. And much more.

(*most photos were taken with an iPhone while a few were with Nikon DSLR)

 

A Walk in Piotrkowska Street

It was cold and damp in Lodz, Poland during our visit. But it did not dampen our spirits to explore this place. It may not be as popular like other European cities such as Paris or Vienna, but we have not been to Poland before, or to Europe for that matter, so we were just as excited to be here.

IMG_1407

Piotrkowska Street is the main thoroughfare of Lodz, Poland, and is one of the major attraction of the city. Stretching at about 5 kilometers long, it is one of the longest commercial avenue in Europe.

IMG_1253

The street is known for its varied architecture, lined with beautiful 19th century palaces and houses as well as dainty shops, stores and restaurants. The street was remarkably damaged during World War II, but it was slowly revitalized and restored especially in the 1990’s.

IMG_1226

one of the ornate buildings in Piotrkowska

IMG_1236

coffee tables on the street, but it was too cold to sit outside

IMG_1293

me checking the posted upcoming events while a pedicab passes by

IMG_1325

view of the street below from a window

IMG_1268

a charming bistro where we dined

This place is a combination of old and new. A contradiction if you will, where it is frozen in time…….

IMG_1255

……and yet the world rushes by.

IMG_1251

The street is furnished with modern lamp-posts, and adorned with a scattering of monuments and sculptures. It is paved with black cobblestone, imitating the old pavement.

IMG_1187

The attractions of the street engages you to look ahead…..

IMG_1277

Look down where you step on…….

IMG_1245

their version of walk of fame

And look up.

IMG_1282

There are also mural paintings that goes up the walls.

IMG_1186

IMG_1243

IMG_1304

What brought us to Lodz Poland is another story. We traveled to Poland not primarily for tour or for a leisure trip. We went here for an international piano competition where my children were fortunate to join.

Why Poland you may ask? I would say that many great pianists, past and present, were from Poland, like Frederic Chopin, Arthur Rubenstein, Krystian Zimerman, and Milosz Magin to name a few. So they have a great heritage of pianists.

IMG_1196

The first phase of the competition was held here in Piotrkowska street, in an old house (picture above) that was transformed into a small auditorium.

IMG_1198

lobby of the auditorium

IMG_1213

practicing on the old piano, while a poster of Milosz Magin contemplates and listens

The second phase of the competition and where the winners’ concert was performed was in a much grander place, a palace, a couple of streets from Piotrkowska.

So while I was in this place, I immersed myself with the music of young protégés and seasoned pianists alike.

Here am I listening to a maestro. O wait, it is a statue.

IMG_1240

statue of Arthur Rubenstein

From Poland with love,

Pinoytransplant

(* photos taken with an iPhone)