Jena in Thüringen, Eastern Germany, population ~110,000, is a center of education and research; the Friedrich Schiller University was founded in 1558 and has 21,000 students; the Ernst-Abbe-Fachhochschule has another 5,000. Jena was first mentioned in 1182. For most of the 20th century, it was one of the world’s centers of the optical industry with companies like Carl Zeiss, Schott, and Jenoptik. Between 1790 and 1850, it was a focal point of the German Vormärz as well as of the student liberal and unification movement and German Romanticism. Notable persons of this period were Friedrich Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Novalis and August Wilhelm Schlegel.
My friend introduced me to the german states and the differing culture, but why are they called 'Free States' if they are still part of Germany? What is a free state?
Nowadays the term free state doesn’t really mean anything anymore, it is mostly a relic of the post-WWI era when a number of German states adopted the name of freestate for themselves (including Prussia and Bavaria). This didn’t mean that they were independent, it rather was meant as a sort of synonym for republic, which I guess was in order to emphasize the new status of the country.
I suppose some still consider it a bit of a ‘prestige’ thing maybe :T