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Jena was founded quite late, compared to its near neighbour villages, in the early 2nd millennium. Part of the State of Thuringia from its foundation in 1920 on, it was incorporated into the German Democratic Republic in 1949 and its district of [[Gera]] in 1952. Since 1990, the city of Jena has been a part of the Free State of Thuringia which is itself part of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Jena has one of the biggest universities in Germany and its ratio of students to the total of inhabitants may belong to the greatest in Germany, as there are 20,000 students at the university which was founded in 1558 and named after Friedrich Schiller in 1934. Additionally, there are some 4,500 students at the university of applied sciences ''(Fachhochschule)'', making one out of four citizens of Jena a student.
Goethe and Schiller, probably the two greatest German writers, lived in Jena as well as for example the biologist Ernst Haeckel, the physicists Ernst Abbe and Erwin Schrödinger and the philosopher Karl Marx.
There are two small airports in [http://www.flugplatz-altenburg.de/site2/airp07/indexen.shtml
You can reach all important destinations by walking. You can also use public transportation, (buses and street cars) but public transportation is not cheap in Jena. Look at [http://www.jenah.de
Holzmarkt (literally wood market) is a good point to start your tour through Jena. Go up to Löbdergraben and turn towards Engelplatz (Post office). You'll see the Kulturhaus. Right next to it there is a small street in which you can find Schiller's garden house with an exhibition in it. By the way, Kulturhaus has great theatre.
Leaving again towards Engelplatz and going straight towards Johannisplatz on the left you'll find GoetheGalerie, one of the greatest shopping malls in Jena. On the right is the Anatomy Tower. Some metres ahead there is Ernst-Abbe-Platz which is meant to be the Campus of the university for Mathematics, Law, Economy and some other departments (faculties) are located around the place. If you are on Johannisplatz, you'll see Johannisturm (John's Tower). Right next to it there is the Intershop Tower which is owned by a new economy company. At its bottom there is Neue Mitte, another great shopping mall. If you turn around you see Wagnergasse. Wagnergasse is the best location to have a rest in a restaurant. "Stilbruch" is known to be among the best restaurants in Jena.
You can now go some metres up to Fürstengraben. If you go along Fürstengraben, after some metres you will see the Botanic Garden. It is absolutely worth going there. After passing the Thuringian University and State Library (on the left) you will see University Main Building (Universitätshauptgebäude) on the right. Turn right to the Schlossgasse and left towards Oberlauengasse. Go some metres through Oberlauengasse and then turn right towards Markt. On the great square you can see the old city hall. Eating here is not the worst idea. Take now the way towards Kollegiengasse. Here you can find where the university was actually founded. On the right there is Eichplatz. Now turn left towards Holzmarkt and you're at the place where you started.
Enjoy nightlife at Wagnergasse and/or [http://www.rosenkeller.org
Jena is surrounded by hills. Hence there are a lot of very nice opportunities to get a beautiful panorama view of the town. You can go to the [http://www.landgrafen.com/
Close to the center of Jena is very nice park located called
Take a look at GoetheGalerie or Neue Mitte. Here you can find almost anything you need.
Thuringian specialties are: Thüringer Rostbratwurst (Thuringian roaster sausage), [[Rostbrätel]] (roasted meat). You'll find more on the menu in Noll (Oberlauengasse), Stilbruch (Wagnergasse) and most other restaurants. As Jena is a student town and a town in the east of Germany prices are slightly lower than in
* You should taste black (dark) beer. In all restaurants you will either get Köstritzer or Schwarze Rose. Both are good. You will find many Pils sorts as well.
* In addition you should try in Jena brewed beer from the [http://www.jenaer-bier.de/
There is a youth hostel (Jugendgästehaus) at Am Herrenberge 3, Tel.: +''49 3641'' 687230, Fax: +''49 3641'' 687202,
===Mid-range and splurge===
There are lots of good hotels with reasonable prices.
Although Germany's east is considered to be a bit more dangerous for people "looking foreign" this is not problem in Jena
Though, when using the tram in the night, the risk of encountering people you didn't want to encounter rises.