The university is the main pride of Jena, the core around which the modern city was formed. It was founded in 1558 by Elector Johann Friedrich the Magnanimous. There is a monument to him on Jena’s Market Square. Now Jena’s main educational institution is named after the great poet Friedrich Schiller, because the poet taught history and philosophy there.
Schiller is by far not the only famous person who have worked or studied here. Lecture halls “remember” physicist Otto von Guericke and Gottfried Leibniz, philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, Georg Hegel, Erwin Schrödinger and Johann Fichte. Karl Marx also studied in Jena and defended his thesis here. Now the University of Jena is a modern educational complex. It has more than 20 thousand students, 340 lecturers working in various fields. In addition to the historic buildings, the University also occupies part of the buildings of the former optical giant Carl Zeiss.