Izrael Poznanski Palace

Łódź, Poland

The history of the Izrael Poznański Palace goes back to the 1860s. It was during this time that Kalman Poznański, a Polish-Jewish trader from Kowal in the Kuyavia region, arrived and began to live in Łódź. Kalman started a cotton industry, but it was not successful. However, when the business was taken over by his son Izrael Poznański (1833–1900), there was a phenomenal rise in the price of cotton around the world. Izrael made a fortune from cotton and spent a large part of his earnings on the palace, which eventually took on his name.

When Izrael Poznański acquired the site of the palace, there was a modest two-story building standing already. He renovated and expanded the building into a large residence. Taking his inspiration from the French neo-Renaissance, architect Hilary Majewski (and later Adolf Zeligson who modified the building) designed a suitably lavish abode which was meant to be the residence of Poznański, one of the key industrialists that drove the textile revolution in Łódź. The palace was marked for its opulence and grand size, and distinguished itself from the surrounding residences. The palace is also notable because of its L-shaped design. Another feature of the palace is the southern wing, which is topped with the tall domed roofs. It also included gardens filled with 'botanical phenomena' so rare to the country that their Latin names had no Polish equivalent at the time, a shooting range and exteriors boasting majestic domes, fancy embellishments and sculptures representing allegories of industry. Inside, a ballroom, a chamber of mirrors and a glass-ceilinged winter garden were also added to the labyrinthine layout. The interior decoration of the large Dining Room as well as the Ballroom was designed by a renowned Łódź artist and painter Samuel Hirszenberg.

Before the outbreak of World War II, members of the Poznański family emigrated to the Western Europe. During the German occupation, the palace served as headquarters of Nazi German authorities. After the war, the building served as the seat of the voivodeship office.

Since 1975, the palace has housed the Museum of the City of Łódź (Muzeum Miasta Łodzi). The museum possesses rich collections of numismatics, iconography, painting, sculpture, graphics, books and manuscripts.

In 2015, the palace was officially included on the List of Historic Monuments of Poland. In 2017, the process of revitalization of the palace was initiated, and work began on renovating the palace's facade. Renovation of the palace was completed in 2020.

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Zachodnia 47, Łódź, Poland
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Founded: 1860s
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Poland

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