Welcome to Jena

Straddling the Saale River and flanked by limestone hills, Jena is a pleasant town blessed with a climate mild enough for grape vines. Although it's also an old university town (since 1558), and Goethe and Schiller were here, too, Jena has an entirely different feel to Weimar, some 20km to the west. The birthplace of precision optics – pioneered here by Carl Zeiss, Ernst Abbe and Otto Schott – it is Jena’s pedigree as a city of science that justifies the moniker Lichtstadt ('City of Light'). Today several museums and the world’s oldest public planetarium attest to this legacy.

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