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The history, economy, and culture of JENA, a university city in east-central Germany and one of the most important cities in the federal state of Thuringia.

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  1. 1. Jena
  2. 2. Overview  Jena is a university city in east-central Germany and the second-largest city in the federal state of Thuringia (map displayed opposite).  It is located on the Saale River, east of Weimar.  Along with Erfurt and Weimar, the two closest cities, Jena makes up the metropolitan area of Thuringia with a population of almost 500,000, whereas the city itself has a population of over 110,000 (111,099 at the December 31, 2017 census).  Jena is a center of education and research; the Friedrich Schiller University, founded in 1558, had an enrollment of 18,000 in 2017, while the Ernst-Abbe-Fachhochschule has an additional 5,000 students.  The city is also home to numerous institutes of the prominent German research societies.  Thomas Nitzsche of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) is the current Lord Mayor (Oberbürgermeister) of Jena.
  3. 3. Thomas Nitzsche (FDP), current Lord Mayor of Jena
  4. 4. History: Middle Ages to 19th century  Jena was first mentioned in 1182 as Jani; it was granted town rights around 1230 and was governed by the Margraves of Meissen from the mid-14th century.  The House of Wettin, which controlled the margraviate and, after 1423, the electorate of Saxony, was split in 1485; Jena consequently fell to the dukes of the Ernestine branch.  In 1558, Elector of Saxony Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous (opposite) founded Friedrich Schiller University as an academy; it advanced to university status in 1577.  It thrived under Duke Karl Augustus, client of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from 1787–1806; during this nearly twenty-year period, the philosophers Johann Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich von Schelling and the writers August von Schlegel and Friedrich Schiller were on its teaching staff.
  5. 5. Friedrich Schiller University
  6. 6. History: Middle Ages to 19th century – cont.  Friedrich Schiller University was long in the foreground of German universities in the liberal recognition of new ideas.  The evolutionist Ernst Haeckel (opposite) was a significant figure at the university in the mid-19th century.  Philosopher, economist, political theorist and socialist revolutionary Karl Marx obtained a doctor’s degree from the university in absentia in 1841.  The university’s tower (400 feet, 122 meters) is one of Jena’s famous landmarks.
  7. 7. History: Middle Ages to 19th century – cont.  Jena was the center of the Duchy of Saxe-Jena from 1672–1690; it remained a ducal residence until 1918.  Napoleon won a remarkable victory over the Prussian army on the precipices north of Jena in 1806.
  8. 8. Battle of Jena–Auerstedt, 1806
  9. 9. History: Post-WWII  Jena was heavily damaged by American and British bombing (Löbderstrasse after the February 1945 bombing shown opposite) in 1945, near the end of World War II.  During the Allied occupation of Germany, Jena fell within the Soviet zone.  It was part of the German Democratic Republic, or East Germany, when Germany was divided from 1949–1990.  In 1953, Jena was a hotbed of the East German Uprising against the communist government; 30,000 East German citizens took part in the protests.  The opposition against the East German government was not strengthened until the late 1980s when, in 1989, Jena was the sight of the largest demonstrations in the German Democratic Republic’s
  10. 10. Map of Germany, occupation zones
  11. 11. East German Uprising, June, 1953
  12. 12. Demonstration in late November, 1989: “For recognition of the new parties and citizens’ movements and for free elections in the DDR”
  13. 13. History: Post-WWII – cont.  Upon Germany’s reunification in October 1990, Jena became part of the reestablished federal state of Thuringia.  In the years following reunification and the end of the Cold War, industry entered a hard crisis, but it still successfully shifted to the market economy from the planned economy of the former East Germany (the JenTower, opposite, is a symbol of the East German economy); Jena is now one of the main economic centers of eastern Germany.  Friedrich Schiller University was expanded; in addition, numerous new research institutes were founded.
  14. 14. Economy and notable structures  A rail junction, Jena is an important center for visual and precision instruments and glass products.  It has a major pharmaceutical industry and numerous biotechnology and microelectronic companies.  Some of its remarkable structures include the old university buildings, the 14th-century town hall and St. Michael’s Church (opposite).  Numerous towers from the medieval fortification ramparts still exist.  University buildings inhabit the site of the former ducal palace where Goethe wrote his novel Hermann und Dorothea (Hermann and Dorothea).  Jena is also home to the Max Planck Institutes for Biogeochemistry, Chemical Ecology, and Economics.  There are also botanical gardens, a planetarium, and civic and university museums throughout the city.
  15. 15. Town hall
  16. 16. Sources  