Jena

Jena is a city in the central German state of Thuringia (Thüringen). It is a centre of science and technology with a reputable university, several research institutes and high-tech plants, especially focusing on precision mechanics and optical industries.

35 things to do

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Walk the town

Holzmarkt (literally wood market) is a good point to start your tour through Jena. Go up to Löbdergraben and turn towards Engelplatz (Post office). You'll see the Kulturhaus. Right next to it there is a small street in which you can find Schiller's garden house with an exhibition in it. By the way, Kulturhaus has great theatre. Leaving again towards Engelplatz and going straight towards Johannisplatz on the left you'll find GoetheGalerie, one of the greatest shopping malls in Jena. On the right is the Anatomy Tower. Some metres ahead there is Ernst-Abbe-Platz which is meant to be the Campus of the university for Mathematics, Law, Economy and some other departments (faculties) are located around the place. If you are on Johannisplatz, you'll see Johannisturm (John's Tower). Right next to it there is the Intershop Tower which is owned by a new economy company. At its bottom there is Neue Mitte, another great shopping mall. If you turn around you see Wagnergasse. Wagnergasse is the best location to have a rest in a restaurant. "Stilbruch" is known to be among the best restaurants in Jena. You can now go some metres up to Fürstengraben. If you go along Fürstengraben, after some metres you will see the Botanic Garden. It is absolutely worth going there. After passing the Thuringian University and State Library (on the left) you will see University Main Building (Universitätshauptgebäude) on the right. Turn right to the Schlossgasse and left towards Oberlauengasse. Go some metres through Oberlauengasse and then turn right towards Markt. On the great square you can see the old city hall. Eating here is not the worst idea. Take now the way towards Kollegiengasse. Here you can find where the university was actually founded. On the right there is Eichplatz. Now turn left towards Holzmarkt and you're at the place where you started.

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Paradies

nice park, especially in the summer a lot of students use this park for barbecue and hanging out with their friends.

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Johannisturm

As well as part of old town wall and the Pulverturm

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R2

a sitdown restaurant with good burgers and steaks.

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Stilbruch

known to be among the best restaurants in Jena

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Café Immergrün

A very pleasant place with student atmosphere

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GoetheGalerie

one of the greatest shopping malls in Jena

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Gruenowski

a lively pub which also serves food

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Neue Mitte

great shopping mall

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Quirinus

atmospheric cafe

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Papiermühle

Jena brewed beer

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Kulturhaus

theatre

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IBIS Hotel City

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Hotel Schwarzer Bär

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Anatomy Tower

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Holzmarkt

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Noll

EAT   —  Oberlauengasse

Pulverturm

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Landgrafen

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Wilhelmshöhe

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Fuchsturm

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Stilbruch

EAT   —  Wagnergasse

Kassablanca

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Wagnergasse

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JenTower

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Fuchsturm

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About Jena

Jena (pronounced yay-nah) has probably existed since at least the 9th century AD and became a town around 1230. Part of the State of Thuringia from its foundation in 1920 on, it was incorporated into the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1949 and its district of Gera in 1952. Since 1990, the city of Jena has again been a part of reunited Germany's state of Thuringia.

Jena has the biggest university in Thuringia and its ratio of students to the total of inhabitants is one of the highest in Germany, as there are 20,000 students at the university which was founded in 1558 and named after Friedrich Schiller in 1934. Additionally, there are some 4,500 students at the university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule), making one out of four citizens of Jena a student.

In early modern times, there was a fix canon of sights—the Seven Wonders of Jena, or septem miracula Jenae in Latin—that each student in Jena was epected to visit and remember. Being able to identify and recite the Seven Wonders in the correct order was considered a proof that someone had indeed studied at Jena: Ara ("arch"—the underpass below the altar of St Michael's church), Caput ("head"—the mechanically moving figure head above the astronomical clock at the townhall), Draco ("dragon"—a seven-headed chimera made as a student joke of animal bones and papier-mâché), Mons ("mountain"—the 385 metre-high Jenzig hill northeast of the town), Pons ("bridge"—the nine-arched old stone bridge Camsdorfer Brücke over the the Saale), Vulpecula Turris ("fox tower"—Fuchsturm, a high-medieval donjon on a hilltop east of Jena), Weigeliana Domus ("Weigel's house"—das Weigelsche Haus, built for a 17th-century professor of mathematics with many technical refinements that were considered ahead of the time, like a wine conduit from the cellar to the dining room, a mechanical lift and long tubes for the observation of stars). Five of the wonders are still extant, while the bridge and Weigel's house are lost.

Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, probably the two greatest German writers, lived in Jena for a few years (though their residence in Weimar is much more well known), as did for example the biologist Ernst Haeckel, the physicists Ernst Abbe and Erwin Schrödinger. The philosopher and communist thinker Karl Marx obtained his Ph.D. from Jena University (because it was one of the few at that time to accept dissertations written in German instead of Latin) without ever attending a course there.

In 1806, Jena and the village of Auerstädt (25 km north of the city) were the sites of a decisive battle in the War of the Fourth Coalition (Napoleon's war against Prussia), involving more than 220,000 soldiers. One of the most known bridges over the Seine and a boulevard in the 16th arrondissement of Paris are named after Jena in memory of this French victory: Pont d'Iéna and Avenue d'Iéna.

Jena is also famous for Carl Zeiss, an optical and precision engineering company founded in 1846, and the Schott hightech glass factories founded in 1884. Both have long been leading players of their respective sectors and exporting worldwide. "Jenaer Glas" is a brand of refractory and chemically resistant glass developed by Otto Schott in 1887. Under the management of socially-minded Ernst Abbe, the Zeiss works (and likewise Schott) provided their employees with quite far-reaching social security and benefits, like pension funds and eight-hour days, that were considered radically modern in the 19th century. This generated a very high identification of workers with their respective company and made Jena a forerunner of Germany's "social market economy". In 1942 Jena was the first site to produce penicillin on an industrial scale, leading to the establishment of the pharmaceutical company Jenapharm. Both Schott's and Carl Zeiss' plants were nationalised in communist East Germany after 1945, while the seat of the respective corporation was moved to capitalist West Germany (establishing new production sites under the traditional names in Mainz and the Swabian Mountains, respectively).

The former nationally-owned factories of Schott and Carl Zeiss were (partially) reunited with their Western counterparts after the end of Cold War, but their executives are still based in (South-)Western Germany rather than moving back to Jena. Some branches of Carl Zeiss Jena have however been outsourced as an independent company called Jenoptik with headquarters in Jena, that has become a renowned producer of laser technology and optical instruments, as well. Similarly, Analytik Jena has specialised on (bio-)analytical instruments. The overall number of workers drastically declined after reunification. Nevertheless, Jena has attracted considerable investments into its manufactories and research institutes and is now considered one of the economically most successful cities of former East Germany, well keeping up with the times. Carl Zeiss Meditec, a Carl Zeiss subsidiary producing medical technology like surgical microscopes or instruments for eye exams, is headquartered in Jena since 2002, being one of four listed companies based in this city (and one of the highest-grossing).


Source: wikivoyage