Last year we had the pleasure of visiting Łódź, Poland’s third largest city. I posted about my first impressions about the city and now I will expand on it all. I will start with a hidden gem, Pasaż Róży.
Through my years of visiting cities and urban wandering I have come to discover many unusual sights. From the umbrella passage in Manchester (which has now gone), to lost parks and derelict buildings. Of all those things, the last thing I would have imagined was a line of terrace houses coated in mirror!
Without knowing, we had walked past this spectacular space numerous times in the short time we had been in Łódź. Pasaż Róży is hidden off the main high street behind a usual unassuming entrance. In fact, it looks no different to the access points to the majority of the homes in the area.
What was once a hotel and residential homes, this street was transformed into, what I can only describe as, a dance of light by the artist Joanna Rajkowska. Imagine the glumness of an alleyway of closely built houses and you would be close to how these would have looked before the transformation. The patterned mirror mosaic passes light from side to side making an ever-changing space.
Behind the artwork
Both the name of the work and the idea came from her experience with her daughter Róża’s , rare eye cancer. After chemotherapy, her daughter was able to see again and the idea of transforming the street from “not seeing to seeing” brought it all to life.
Every wall of each building is covered with the swirling pattern of the mosaic mirror, each different with a personality of its own. Rajkowska is an artist with what I feel to be a strong connection with nature and the natural world. Playing with the ideas in urban spaces – she is also the creator of the Palm Tree in Warsaw.
Avoiding the Instagrammer
Of course, a space like this is going to be a favourite of the Instagrammer, but it is quite easy to get the space to yourself if you go around mid morning. I visited a few times in the morning and it was a peaceful space. I think later on and sunset bring in more people for the midday light, but I absolutely loved the cool morning sun – perhaps because I wasn’t in any (well…see above) of the pictures.
The passage is actually still used by residents and businesses, so you do need to be aware of that while taking photos and exploring. Just a bit of common courtesy for the people using the space really.
As a public space, it is free to explore, but is only open between 8:00 – 22:00.
Pasaż Róży a must see
When you are in Łódź, the urban art and Pasaż Róży are a definite must see. Time it right for a quiet and peaceful place to catch some shade and to take in the dancing sunshine.
ŁÓDŹ Pasaż Róży – Mosaic Mirror Houses
Address: Piotrkowska 3, 90-004 Łódź, Poland
Open: 8:00 – 22:00