The seat of the Museum of the City of Łódź is located in the former palace of the Poznański family, one of the richest houses of factory owners of the 19th century. The monumental residence is the most easily recognisable building and showcase of the city as well a testimony of the 19th-century history of Łódź, which over merely several dozen years changed from a small settlement to the centre of textile industry in the Kingdom of Poland.
It is impossible to imagine a better place to tell the story of ‘The Promised Land’ than a building that is so permanently inscribed in the social awareness of the citizens of Łódź. Located in the centre of the city, the palace is a place that cannot be overlooked or passed by with indifference. Visiting the museum, its guests can transport themselves in time to the moment in which Łódź was an industrial superpower and get to know the life of the financial elite from within. However, a visit in the palace does not only mean opulent halls and rooms that belonged to the bourgeoisie. The Museum of the City of Łódź present history in a holistic way: the multinational and multidenominational character of Łódź as well as the fact that it was inhabited by tens of thousands of factory workers, who constituted the real, living tissue of the city.
Our walk through history begins on the parade staircase, known from the film adaptation of ‘The Promised Land’, directed by Andrzej Wajda. On the first floor, there are richly decorated representative spaces. The decor of the rooms of the palace that belonged to the ‘cotton king of Łódź’ is characterised by eclecticism, typical of the art of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, wealth of references to historic styles with a simultaneous use of the then modern Art Nouveau decoration. Most of the studies of the Pantheon of Great Citizens of Łódź are situated behind the Large Dining Room; they familiarise us with the figures of outstanding characters who were connected with Łódź, either through their activity or their place of birth. The Museum owns exceptional mementos of the life and work of the composer Alexandre Tansman, the translator Karl Dedecius, the writer Władysław Reymont, the political and social activist Marek Edelman, and the poet Julian Tuwim. Also Arthur Rubinstein’s Music Gallery is located here; it presents a collection of mementos of the world-famous composer, unique on a global scale.
Beside the representative rooms and the Pantheon of Great Citizens of Łódź on the first floor, visitors can see private lodgings of the Poznański family.
A typical backyard of Łódź from the early 20th century has been reproduced in the Palace’s cellar In the common backyard – is an exhibition representing objects of the former city of Łódź related to the four cultures which were present in the city before the Second World War: Polish, German, Russian and Jewish.
To finish the walk, it is worth visiting the cosy interiors of the museum café. In summer season, the palace garden constitutes an additional attraction for the visitors. It is a perfect place to spend a while relaxing among trees and shrubs, which still remember the times of Izrael Poznański.
The Poznański Family Palace is a priceless monument and an important spot on the cultural map of the city, in which a rich programme of diverse educational and artistic events is implemented. The Museum also invites you to visit cyclically organised temporary exhibitions.