Łódź, also rendered in English as Lodz, is the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial centre. Located in the central part of the country, it has a population of 679,941. It is the capital of Łódź Voivodeship, and is located approximately 120 km south-west of Warsaw. The city's coat of arms is an example of canting, as it depicts a boat, which alludes to the city's name.
Łódź was once a small settlement that first appeared in 14th-century records. It was granted town rights in 1423 by Polish King Władysław II Jagiełło, and it remained a private town of the Kuyavian bishops and clergy until the late 18th century. The Second Industrial Revolution brought rapid growth in textile manufacturing and in population due to the inflow of migrants, notably Germans and Jews. Ever since the industrialization of the area, the city has struggled with multinationalism and social inequalities, which were documented in the novel The Promised Land by Nobel Prize-winning author Władysław Reymont. The contrasts greatly reflected on the architecture of the city, where luxurious mansions coexisted with red brick factories and dilapidated tenement houses.