Jena was founded quite late, compared to its near neighbour villages, in the early 2nd millennium. Part of the State of Thuringia from its foundation in 1920 on, it was incorporated into the German Democratic Republic in 1949 and its district of Gera in 1952. Since 1990, the city of Jena has been a part of the Free State of Thuringia which is itself part of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Jena has one of the biggest universities in Germany and its ratio of students to the total of inhabitants may belong to the greatest 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.
Goethe and Schiller, probably the two greatest German writers, lived in Jena as well as for example the biologist Ernst Haeckel, the physicists Ernst Abbe and Erwin Schrödinger and the philosopher Karl Marx.
During most of the 20th century, Jena has been a world centre of optical industry around companies like CarlZeiss, Schott and Jenoptik (
since 1990). As one of only few medium cities in Germany, it has some high-rise buildings in city centre, like Jen Tower. Those have their origin also in the former Carl Zeiss factory. Between 1790 and 1850, Jena was a focal point of German Vormärz as well as of studental liberal and unification movement and German Romanticism. Notable persons of this period in Jena are Friedrich Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Novalis and August Wilhelm Schlegel.
Jena lies in a hilly landscape in the east of Thuringia, within the wide valley of the Saale river.
The towers of Forstturm, Bismarcturm and Fuchsturm are shown on this card sent to me by Insa.