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Ilmenau is a town in Thuringia, Germany. It is the largest town within the Ilm district with a population of 26,000, while the district capital is Arnstadt. Ilmenau is located approximately 33km south of Erfurt and 135km north of Nuremberg within the Ilm valley at the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest at an elevation of 500m.The most important institution in Ilmenau is the Technische Universität Ilmenau, Thuringia's second-largest university with about 7,000 students and an emphasis on mathematics, physics, informatics, several engineering disciplines and media studies. Its precursor was founded in 1894 and developed into a university in 1992. Since 1990, many research institutes have been established in the area around the university making Ilmenau an important hub of technological research.Ilmenau was historically a small mining town, primarily silver and copper, until the deposits were depleted. After 1800, it was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's favorite resort because of its beautiful landscape. In 1838, the established spa led to the advent of tourism, which is still an important industry. Industrialisation started after the railway arrived in 1879, but increased rapidly during the following century primarily in glass and porcelaine manufacturing. The porcelaine factories closed (like everywhere in western Europe) during the 1990s. The glass industry, however, remains and produces laboratory equipment and measurement devices and is leading source of economic activity together with mechanical engineering and software engineering. Ilmenau and the surrounding region have produced many winter Olympic champions in disciplines like luge, bobsleigh and biathlon.To find out how to plan a trip to Germany, use our trip itinerary maker.
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