About Jena

Jena and Surroundings

Jena, with its 100.000 inhabitants, is the largest town in the Saale Valley. Situated in Thuringia (Thüringen), the 'Green Heart of Germany', it is famous for its beautiful landscape, rich nature, and its cultural history. Modern Jena is an important scientific and industrial center with a long tradition in development and production of high-precision instruments.

History of the Friedrich-Schiller-University

The Friedrich-Schiller-University is one of Germany's most traditional centers of higher education. Founded in 1548 as an academic school, it was raised to University status in 1557 by Kaiser Ferdinand I, and opened in 1558. The University established itself as a center of protestant learning and Lutheran theology during its first century of existence. Beginning with the second half of the 17th century, the University focused also on political issues. In the 'classical period' the University of Jena attracted many well-known and influential figures.
Goethe and Schiller, Hegel, Fichte, and Fries gave the town and University their distinctive intellectual character.
After the heyday of the classical period, in the second half of the 19th century, transformation into a civil University took place. Eminent scholars were drawn to Jena by its reputation. In 1841, Karl Marx received his doctorate from the faculty of philosophy. At the beginning of the 19th century the cooperation between Zeiss, Abbe, and Schott lead Jena into a productive integration of science, optical technology, industry.
In an era of conflict between science and politics, the University has been subjected to contradictory developments over the course of the 20th century. After World War I, it became the County University of Thüringen. During the Weimar Republic, it went through a period of intellectual revival and scientific innovation of international standing, especially in the fields of physics, medicine, reformed pedagogics, economics, and industrial science. The teaching capacity of the University was substantially extended and excellent relationships with Eastern European Universities were established.
However, this development came to an abrupt halt in 1933 when the University did not withstand the increasing fascist politics. The National Socialists gained control over the University, suppressed its liberal traditions and carried out their horrifying racial persecutions. Jewish staff and citizens were deported to concentration camps such as Buchenwald near Weimar.

After the war, Jena fell under Russian control and became part of the socialist German Democratic Republic in 1949. During the cold war, political intervention continued to restrict the activities of the University. A high level of ideological conformity was requested and achieved. As integration with the East began to take priority, the University of Jena, in close cooperation with Zeiss, became one of the leading Universities in Eastern Europe, especially in the fields of science and technology.
In the course of German reunification in 1989 the University underwent far-reaching structural reforms involving setting up of new faculties and institutes. The scientific content and personnel of whole disciplines and courses, especially in the humanities, was replaced.
Today, the University offers all levels of academic degrees to about 19.000 students at ten faculties. They have the option to choose between some 100 disciplines.

Scientists at the University of Jena that are important for Methodology

Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (1848-1925)
Ernst Karl Abbe (1840-1905)

Jena: Historical Summary

9th century: Local settlement recognized as 'Jani'.
1236: First mentioned in documents as a town.
1523/24: Jena becomes a center of the Lutheran Reformation.
1558: Jena University founded, opens for students.
around 1800: Jena and its University form an intellectual and cultural center: Goethe, Schiller, Fichte, Hegel, Feuerbach, Schelling, Tieck, the Schlegel brothers and their wives all work here.
1806: Battle of Jena and Auerstedt: Napoleon's troops defeat the Prussian army.
1846: Carl Zeiss founds the precision-engineering optical workshop, in cooperation with Ernst Abbe.
1884: Schott glass manufactory established.
1889: Ernst Abbe founds the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung.
1926: The Planetarium is donated to the city by Carl Zeiss.
1933: Nazis take over University and town.
1945: The city is destroyed to a great extent by bomb attacks.
1949: Jena becomes part of the German Democratic Republic.
1953: Failed attempts of upheaval against socialist government.
1969/70: Demolition of most of the remaining parts of the old city center to provide space for the University tower.
1989: End of socialist rule.
since 1990: After the reunification, major reconstructions of the city and restructuring of the University.

Climate and Geographic Conditions

Jena is situated in the middle of the Saale valley in east Thuringia (Thüringen), 150m above sea level. Limestone rocks overtower the city. Extensive forest areas and steep slopes of the limestone hills invite for hiking and other recreational activities. Many botanical and geological features, including 40 species of orchids, attract those interested in natural history. In July the mean day temperature is between 20 - 28°C (68 - 80 F). Evening temperatures are lower. Climate conditions are variable but on average dry with occasional rain.

Weather forecast: The Weather Online

Department of Methodology and Evaluation Research

University of Jena

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