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Feel the atmosphere of the 1920s

Before the Word War I, the dynamically developing city did not have enough hotels of decent standard. Therefore, in 1911 at 6 Krótka Street (today's Traugutta Street) the modern Savoy Hotel was built. A delighted journalist from the Warsaw daily called "Świat" named it "Europe in Łódź."


Today, it is one of the three historical hotels in Łódź which have been functional since the beginning of the 20th century. The frame construction used for building the hotel made it possible to achieve the height of 35 m, which was an outstanding achievement at that time. The hotel had 6 storeys, but thanks to the high ground floor with the mezzanine and the attic at the top, it was usually claimed that the hotel had 7 storeys. Surrounded by low tenement houses, the Savoy Hotel seemed to be a real skyscraper and was dubbed "the first high-rise building in Łódź." Until 1951, when the TV high-rise building was built in the city centre, the Vienna tycoon Salomon Ringer's hotel was one of the highest non-religious buildings in Łódź.


The building was designed by Stefan Lemmene, who was a local architect. His concept was realised by entrepreneurs from Warsaw and Katowice. The hotel was built in less than 2 years. It was situated in a tight rectangular plot by a small street directly connected with Piotrkowska Street.


The Savoy Hotel building combines Art Nouveau and modernist elements, showing the aesthetic preferences dominating at that time. Semicircular side bay windows and a few narrow balconies smoothly protrude from the flat facade. There are large shop windows on the ground floor and large square windows on the first floor. The building's characteristic detail is a round window located in the very centre of the first storey, right above the entrance. It is ornamented with a metal frame where effigies of two peacocks with long tails (symbols of Art Nouveau) were forged.


The interior decorations and really modern (for those times) equipment must have been really impressive. The building featured electric lamps in colourful lampshades, running water installation, sewerage system, elevator, phones and pool tables. "Even the pickiest travellers' needs will be fulfilled in the freshly opened Savoy Hotel, which is furbished according to the latest comfort and technology trends," wrote one of the contemporary journalist quoted by Jarosław Skowroński, who wrote the preface to the novel entitled "Hotel Savoy". The creation of such a remarkable object did not remain unnoticed by writers. In 1924, the Austrian writer Josef Roth set the action of his famous novel in this hotel. Its main character Gabriel Dan, having returned after several years of wandering around Russia, stayed in an unnamed manufacturing city in a hotel on Krótka Street. Roth named the Savoy Hotel "the gate of Europe" and wrote as follows: "An outstanding hotel with a liveried doorman, golden sign, elevators and clean chambermaids in starched white caps seems to be more European than any other inn in the East". It is worth noting that such praises came from a man renowned for his critical approach to Łódź itself as he wrote: "Before the noon [the city] was grey, covered with smoke from gigantic chimneys belonging to the nearby factories, there were cowering dirty beggars on street corners and the narrow streets were littered with rubbish and dung."


The Savoy Hotel quickly became the haven for Łódź bohemians. In 1914-1915, the Bi-Ba-Bo cabaret performed here in cooperation with, among others, Artur Szyk, who was a famous caricaturist and miniaturist of Jewish origin, and Julian Tuwim himself. The great Łódź poet lived not far from the hotel at 50 Dzielna Street (today 54 Narutowicza Street), where his family moved after the outbreak of the World War I. After the World War II, the Savoy Hotel (as all other hotels) was taken over by municipal authorities and nationalised. However, it still gathered artists and writers. Actors from the private Syrena theatre lived here and celebrated their stage successes. For many years, the famous Pickwick Literary Club was located here. It was frequented by Polish celebrities from the world of culture and art, e.g. poets Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński and Julian Tuwim, actors Józef Węgrzyn and Adolf Dymsza, and the director and manager of Łódź theatres Leon Schiller. Great artists still visit this hotel, e.g. before the actor Jan Machulski got his own suite in the Grand Hotel, he had his room in the Savoy Hotel, where he often stayed.


In the 1960s, the Savoy Hotel was rebuilt and refurbished. However, bathroom elements, doors, floorings and slanting walls on the 7th floor were preserved. Since 1974, the hotel was managed by Przedsiębiorstwo Turystyczne Łódź and now it is owned by the "Centrum-Hotele" partnership. Its own grandeur and artistic atmosphere was restored in the nineties thanks to the Art Nouveau stylized reception area and Zieliński brothers' restaurant located in the hotel, officially rewarded for interior decorations in 1991.


The location of the hotel is as advantageous now as it used to be many years ago. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the city life, formerly focused around the New Market Square, started moving to the area of the Łódź-Fabryczna Station and streets leading to this facility. Shops, banks and restaurants were built there. Nowadays, the hotel is attractively situated only several metres from the representative Piotrkowska Street. The historic promenade full of Art Nouveau tenement houses, enchanting backyards and magical places is a great place to visit (it is worth taking a ride by Łódź special means of transport ? an antique tram or a rickshaw). During the day, you may visit bustling restaurants, cafes and art galleries, and at night you may relax in pubs and clubs.

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