It is the remarkable coincidences which modern Jena owes its splendour. The Protestant Elector John Frederick I was defeated by the troops of the Catholic Emperor Charles V in the Schmalkaldic War, he lost the electorate, his Saxon estates and consequently Wittenberg and its university. This led him to initiate the foundation of a university in Jena, which received the Imperial blessing in 1558 and until today has decisively characterised the fate of the small city on the River Saale. This is why Jena is looking forward to celebrating the 500 th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.
In 2016 a second great shining light of the history of the city will also be commemorated: Carl Zeiss. In his home town Weimar his application to found a mechanical workshop was rejected. Consequently he attempted to do the same in Jena and received the concession. On 17 Novem- ber 1846 with an initial capital of 100 Thalers he opened his first workshop in Neugasse 7. In Ernst Abbe, the professor, he found a congenial partner with whom he placed the construction of microscopes on a scientific footing, thus revolutionising its manufacture. The history of the Zeiss factories remains a fantastic success story today. No wonder that the 200 th birthday of Carl Zeiss provides the occasion to pay tribute to the optical tradition in Jena in many different ways.
You will be welcomed to our romantic Jena, located in the picturesque valley of the River Saale and surrounded by shell-limestone slopes. Here an attractive mix of innovative culture and unpar- alleled nature awaits you, whatever the season. Of course, we will be pleased to give you compe- tent advice on your visit, show you the most beautiful parts of the town and the Saale country- side and provide you with tailor-made offers.
We can’t wait to meet you!