Monday, January 23, 2012

feels like home

I was born in Poland, my home city is Lodz. With some surrounding towns, the whole municipality is almost one million citizens. The size comes from the industrial history of Lodz, as it became textile center of Poland in 19th century. Within less then one century, Lodz grew from a small town of 4.000 citizens in 1830, to one of the biggest agglomerations in Europe in 1914 with over half a million people. That fast prosper had also the bad side: lack of infrastructure, lack of city planning, lack of hospitals and schools. The city grew with any control on its own, leading to nowaday's industrial landscape, full of factories and chimneys in the center. This is how Lodz looks like: an industrial city full of chimneys. Today all that industry had bankrupted and all You can see are empty factories with broken windows and collapsing roofs, not more than two blocks away from main streets. The process of renovation had started in 1990s and for sure will still take some years to make Lodz a beautiful city.
To understand better what I am writing about, please visit a photo blog of my friend from high school times from Lodz. He is a brilliant photographer, able to capture the very essence of Lodz! Enjoy!
You may find it strange, but I like this kind of landscapes. I cannot explain it, but that’s the truth. And wherever, in any other city in any other country, I find some old forgotten factories, I get the sentimental feeling like being in my home town. On one weekend in December, during bicycle trip to Vrachneika, somewhere close to the new port, I found such landscape in Patras :-D

The factory from the photo was part of Peiraiki-Patraiki industrial group, one of the biggest companies in Greece in 20th century and the biggest textile producer. This factory was built in 1953, as the most advanced in the country, being part of modernization program, so that company could compete with foreign importers in early years after Second World War. The beginning of the end for Peiraiki-Patraiki came in 1980s, when the company was nationalized and very soon after went bankrupt. Nowadays, the state of the art factory, is in complete ruin, devastated, abandoned, waiting for new investments. There are plans for new IKEA mega store, as the area is becoming attractive again after relocating the nearby new port. New infrastructure is being developed connecting new port with Patras bypass road also making the land more valuable for big investments. But for now, it still remains untouched, scaring tourists away (can You imagine what they think, looking out of the ferry when arriving in Patras :-P). I just wish, the new investments could keep old-factory style architecture, but I know it’s impossible. That’s why I have my photo to remember just in case.

Photo: NIKON D70s, AP, f 1/9, 1/250s, -0.3EV, f=51 mm (for 35mm), GIMP software

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