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Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe

Masters of innovation from Thuringia

Camera objectives, microscopes, eyeglass lenses, medical technology and much more – Zeiss is a worldwide known company, an international market leader that guarantees highest quality standards.

The success story is based on the cooperation of two Thuringians: Weimar-born Carl Zeiss and Ernst Abbe from Eisenach. Zeiss started off as a mechanic and microscope builder, Abbe was a mathematician and physicist. Together they managed to bring optical instruments on the market that were better than those of the competition. When the chemist and glass expert Otto Schott joined them later, they were able to produce their instruments with their own high-quality glass. Schott is also known as the inventor of the heat-resistant Borosilicate glass, the so-called 'Jena glass'.

Jena's masters of innovation

German Optical Museum

The German Optical Museum in Jena presents more than five centuries of history in the development of optical instruments. The permanent exhibitions also inform about the history of the Zeiss company and show a replica of the original 19th century craftsman workshop of Carl Zeiss. Historical spectacles and microscopes, cameras and telescopes are on display. Interactive elements such as eyesight tests and 3D worlds entertain the visitors.

German Optical Museum

Zeiss Planetarium

Founded in 1926, the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena is a historical monument but equipped with state-of-the-art Zeiss technology.  Video shows on a 360-degree projection screen accompanied by fascinating music accompany visitors on journeys to far-away galaxies, through fantasy worlds or on excursions to primeval forests where you 'walk with the dinosaurs'.

Get an impression in a youtube video here.