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The History of Jena

Jena is a city in thuringia which is located in east-central Germany on the Saale River. Today it has ca. 100.000 inhabitants.

hanfried, fsu/archiv (15896 Byte) Jena was first mentioned as a town in 1236.
In 1523/24 it became one of the centres of Reformation.

In 1558 Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous (in vernacular Hanfried) founds the University of Jena. The University is named after Friedrich Schiller who teached from 1789 to 1799 as professor for History and Philosophy in Jena.

schiller's garden houseIn this time Jena and its University grew to an intelectual and cultural centre where many intellectual greats like Goethe, Schiller, Hufeland, Hegel, Tieck and the Schlegel brothers worked.
Nowadays not only street names and plaques, but also lovingly restored buildings, bear witness to this period: for instance Schiller's garden house, Fichte's domicile or Goethe's superintendent's residence in the botanical gardens.

In 1806 Napoleon's troops conquered the Prussian army in the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt.

intershop-tower (9714 Byte)The foundation of Jena's international reputation as an industrial centre was created 70 years later. In comission by Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe developed the theory of microscope image formation which gave the impetus for emergence into the industrial age. The "Laboratory for glass technology" was found.
The symbol of Jena, the "intershop-tower" was build in 1972 and represents a telescope. Until today it is a sign for Jenas role as center of the optical industry.



The pictures above are:
1: Hanfried, from FSU/Archive
2: Schiller's garden house, from this link
3: The intershop tower viewed from the Wagnergasse, from this link