Jena was first mentioned in 1182 and was elevated to town status around 1230. It played a central role in the enlightenment and romanticism ages. Due to its well known university, in particular, Jena was a center of attraction for many popular academics like Goethe, Schiller and Hegel.
The opening of the optical workshop at Neugasse 7 in Jena by Carl Zeiss in 1846 marked the beginning of one of the most important optical and precision mechanical firms in the world. Rapid growth necessitated expansion. The years to follow saw the workshop move several times, as well as new factory buildings, especially on the premises of the main factory in 1880 and the south factory in 1923.
Although Jena flourished in the first half of the twentieth century, large areas of the town were destroyed when the main factory was bombed in 1945. The division of Germany also resulted in the division of Carl Zeiss into Carl Zeiss Oberkochen (West Germany) and VEB Carl Zeiss Jena (East Germany). German reunification had also a big impact on the fortunes of the latter concern: it became a subsidiary of Carl Zeiss Oberkochen and moved into Building 6/70, which provides almost 100,000 m² space.
Today, Jena is the headquarters of Carl Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, Carl Zeiss SMS GmbH, Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH and parts of research and development.
Elevated to city status; many citizens live from wine growing.
University founded. Long known as "Salana," it has gone by the name Friedrich-Schiller University since 1933.
Golden age of the University of Jena where Schiller, Fichte, Schelling and Hegel taught from time to time Romanticism also reached a high point here with August Wilhelm Schlegel, his wife Caroline, Friedrich Schlegel, Ludwig Tieck, Clemens Brentano and Friedrich from Hardenburg (Novalis).
Napoleon defeats the Prussian Army in the battle of Jena and Auerstädt.
Carl Zeiss opens an optical workshop at Neugasse 7.
Workshop relocates to Wagnergasse 32.
Move to own house at Johannisplatz.
Residence of Carl Zeiss and first factory building on the premises on which the main factory is erected.
First building on the premises of what becomes the South Factory.
Large areas of Jena destroyed during bombing of the main factory.
Acquisition of the state railway workshop from which the North factory is developed. Now known as Saalepark industrial area.
Areas of the old town demolished to make room for round tower. Erected as a research center for Carl Zeiss, the building is transferred to the university before it is completed and is now owned by a private investor.
The Göschwitz factory begins operations. It is now the site of the Göschwitz industrial zone.
Inauguration of Building
6/70 which offers almost
100,000 m² of space, making it one of the largest industrial buildings in Europe.
Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH becomes subsidiary of Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen and moves into Building 6/70 (now Building 70), which is fully renovated.
The buildings at Göschwitzer Str. 51-52 are transferred to Carl Zeiss Meditec AG.
Inauguration of new research center in Building 70.