Topics of coins

600th Anniversary of granting municipal rights to Łódź

Łódź was granted municipal rights in the 15th century, when on 29 July 1423 the king of Poland Ladislas Jagiello authorised the foundation of the city and granted it a charter of incorporation based on the Magdeburg law, also known as the German law. The charter was issued in Przedbórz. In this way, the ruler complied with the request of the Bishop of Włocławek, Jan Pella, the owner of the estate in which the village of Łodzia was located.

In legal terms, Łódź was to be modelled on Łęczyca, then the capital of the Łęczyca Voivodeship. The court system of the town was determined by a royal charter. The inhabitants were excluded from the jurisdiction of royal officials and from then on they were responsible only to the mayor, and the latter to the bishop who owned the city.

In the charter, the monarch also established the foundations for the economic existence of Łódź. Markets every Wednesday and two fairs a year were allowed. The first took place the day after Corpus Christi, and the second on 16 August, the day after the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Not without significance was that the townspeople were given areas of land that could be used for agricultural purposes. They amounted to 20 lans, i.e. about 470 hectares of land.

The original document of Ladislas Jagiello has not survived. The royal charter known from later copies did not contribute to the transformation of Łódź into a thriving urban centre. Łódź remained a small agricultural town. Only decisions made in the 1820s by the authorities of the Kingdom of Poland led to an influx of new settlers and the transformation of the city into a centre of the textile industry.

Maciej Janik, PhD

The obverse of the coin shows in the foreground the southern façade of Ludwik Geyer’s factory (the so-called White Factory), currently the seat of the Central Museum of Textiles in Łódź. In the background, the silhouettes of the Church of the Holy Spirit and the Łódź Town Hall are depicted.

The reverse bears the inscription 600-LECIE NADANIA ŁODZI PRAW MIEJSKICH (600th Anniversary of Granting Municipal Rights to Łódź). Next to it there is an effigy of King Ladislas Jagiello based on a drawing by Jan Matejko and an image of the 1577 seal with the coat of arms of Łódź.