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Jena Personalities

Jena Personalities

Carl Zeiß (1816 - 1888)

"Carl Zeiss must have been one of those people who are able to determine the motives for their actions, the arguments for their decisions through that which does not yet exist and which is just a thought - in whose sense and endeavours the future will gain the power of causality, and have an educational and formative influence on the present. But by itself progress takes place in all things human, both large and small. [...] Carl Zeiss really was such an idealist. And because of this, his activities have established great progress in his field of work and shown success which outlives his personal existence."

Ernst Abbe talking about Carl Zeiß (from Paul Esche "Carl Zeiss - Life and Work")

Tourist attractions:

  • Themed city tour "Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott" (2 hours)
  • Daily programme "Fabulous 360° - Panoramic view from the JenTower" (for groups)


Things to see and do:

  • Optical Museum
  • Zeiss Planetarium
  • SCHOTT Villa

Ernst Abbe (1840 - 1905)

".... I moved into my flat yesterday, a really nice place, in a wide, friendly street, up two staircases and beautifully furnished, nicer than my flat in Frankfurt, for 19 Thaler per semester (service included) In case any letters arrive for me: Jena, Saalgasse bei Donat".

Ernst Abbe in a letter dated 12 May 1863 after his move to Jena (from "Ernst Abbe Letters to his youth and study friends Carl Martin and Harrald Schütz 1858 - 1865")

Tourist attractions:
Themed city tour "Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott" (2 hours) and "Henry van de Velde and the Bauhaus artists in Jena"

Things to see and do:

  • Ernst Abbe monument
  • Optical Museum

Otto Schott (1851 - 1935)

"I liked Jena a great deal. Professor Abbe is a person I like very much. With an extraordinary love for his study project he combines a natural sociability and friendliness. He received me on the same evening I arrived ..., and after we had got to know each other reasonably well, he made the suggestion that I should come to Jena and carry out the investigations of molten glass which can be used for optics..."

Otto Schott writing in 1881 about his encounter with Ernst Abbe

Tourist attractions:
Themed city tour "Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott" (2 hours)

Things to see and do:

  • SCHOTT Villa
  • Optical Museum

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

"Have a look around you! What do you think about this area? It is the most beautiful city that I have ever known."
Goethe about Jena on 11 April 1818

Tourist attractions:

  • Themed city tours "Jena – Goethe's City of Inspiration" (2 hours) and "Schiller & Goethe in Jena" (2 hours)
  • Tour of discovery around Jena by bicycle (Apr - Oct)
  • Daily programme Weimar Classicism (Weimarer Klassik)


Things to see and do:

  • Goethe Memorial in the Botanical Garden
  • Goethe Monument in the Griesbach Garden
  • Botanical Garden
  • Mineralogical Collection
  • The inn "Grüne Tanne"
  • Erlking monument (Erlkönig)
  • Lobdeburg Castle
  • Drackendorfer Park

Friedrich Schiller (1759 - 1805)

"There is no place in Germany that means as much to me as Jena and its surrounding area, because I am convinced that it is not possible to enjoy such true freedom and find so many first-rate people on such a small scale anywhere else."
Schiller on 6 April 1795

Tourist attractions:

  • Themed city tour "Schiller & Goethe in Jena" (2 hours)
  • Readings in Schiller’s Summer House


Things to see and do:

  • Schiller’s Summer House
  • Schiller Church

August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767 - 1845)

"Things have gone exceptionally well since I left Leipzig, I have made a number of interesting acquaintances, and have generally been well looked after here, and Jena will now be my permanent residence."
August Wilhelm Schlegel on 24 June 1796

Things to see and do:
Romanticist House

Napoleon Bonaparte (1769 - 1821)

"Jena is a glorious battle as the day characterised the entire campaign as a result of the troop movements that I made there."
Napoleon’s Reminiscences, Quote of a Contemporary: 2 June 1817 (from "The Situation 1806")

Tourist attractions:

  • Audio walk "Jena-Cospeda – Remembrance Field Windknollen 1806" (20 mins): Interactive walk with Mp3 player & headphones from the Museum 1806 in Cospeda around the Jena battlefield
Things to see and do:
Museum 1806

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