Jena, the German town located on the river Saale in the federal state of Thuringia, will go through this year with the prestigious title of the ‘City of Science 2008’. Jena is famous for its Friedrich Schiller University and it is often referred to as the most modern city in the Thuringia.
The University is among the most popular places to study in Germany. It has a long and rich history. For example in 1794 Goethe and Schiller met at the university and they established a long lasting friendship. This year the University will celebrate its 450th anniversary and therefore 2008 will be a lively year for the town. Numerous events and festivals will take place here. Jena is going to host various scientific events, discussions, exhibitions, lectures and theatre performances.
However, it is not only the science and the famous university that should draw visitors in here. The town can offer various sights as well as numerous cafés, restaurants and rustic pubs. Kulturarena, an open-air festival that attracts international stars, is also on the list of the must-see events of many travelers. Visitors can also go to the Jena Theatre. They can walk through the preserved streets of the Altstadt (Old Town) or go shopping e.g. to the Goethe Galerie or other modern shopping facilities that can be found in the town. Furthermore, the town has the world’s oldest planetarium, which is now equipped with state-of-the-art projection technology.
The surroundings of the town are also worth mentioning. There are numerous castles and palaces on the local hills. Just 15 km from the town are the three Dornburg castles. Some 13 km from Jena is a very important sacred building, the Thalbürgel Convent Church. Only some 22 km from Jena is the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Weimar, the city that gave the name to the Weimar Republic.