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Various exhibitions during the summer at the University of Jena

After a long Corona break, exhibitions and cultural offerings have finally reopened. The Friedrich Schiller University Jena has also reopened the doors of its exhibitions. There are also a few new themed exhibitions.

Mediterranean cuisine with a difference

A delicious dormouse stuffed with minced meat and, for dessert, a roasted dormouse with honey and poppy seeds. These sound like strange dishes to us, but they were on the menu of wealthy Roman aristocrats. What other interesting dishes were put on the table in antiquity is shown in the exhibition "More than Bread and Wine. Ancient food: Everyday Food and Table Luxury". It can be seen from 9 July to 31 August in the exhibition rooms of the Institute of Classical Studies (Fürstengraben 25) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. The exhibition not only explains what food was served at all, but also how it was prepared. Who you ate the food with was a symbol of status and social affiliation. This is also addressed in the exhibition.

But not only Roman food culture can be discovered in the exhibition. The wine culture of the Greeks, their haute cuisine and the significance of food in religion are also thematised. In the haute cuisine section, the focus is on the sometimes quite unusual dishes of the upper class, the fine tableware and table manners. In the section Dishes for the Gods, cultic acts related to food and drink are presented.

Exhibition flyer [PDF, 15 MB]

Opening hours:
Tuesday and Thursday: 2 – 4 pm
Sunday: 3 – 5 pm
and by appointment at
Admission is free.

Everything about the king's game of chess

The exhibition "Chess. Game - Sport - Science - Art" is dedicated to a different hobby. It illuminates the subject of chess from different perspectives. Among other things, it presents how chess has occupied society since its emergence in the 6th century, how it passed from the courtly to the bourgeois and how it is even considered a sport today. From a cultural-historical perspective, the exhibition shows, among other things, the oldest German chess textbook or focuses on the "Chess Turk", the first apparently mechanical chess machine.

But chess in contemporary literature and in film are also topics of the exhibition. Chess is considered the sport with the most publications, which include chess textbooks, specialist journals but also fictional books. The exhibition shows the most important copies from the ThULB's collection and from private collectors.

The Exhibition at the Thuringian University and State Library Jena (ThULB) will be on display in the exhibition room in the foyer of the ThULB main building (Bibliotheksplatz 2) from 14 July 2021, until 4 December 2021. At the end of the exhibition, a chess tournament will be held on 4 December under the patronage of Jena's Lord Mayor Dr Thomas Nitzsche.

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 8pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Admission is free.

Children's games from the past

Painted bouncy boxes and chalk drawings on the streets are a familiar sight in housing estates, especially in summer. This kind of play is part of the new exhibition "Spielend! (Playing)", which can be seen from 6 August in the exhibition space at the University of Jena. A team from the Institute of Art and Cultural Studies investigated the history of children's games in Thuringia in the past century, exploring the questions of what and how schoolchildren played back then and how games then differed from those today.

The underlying information on the children's games comes from questionnaires from the 1930s. Therefore, the exhibition simultaneously provides background information on the topic of childhood during National Socialism. In addition to the presentation of the games and rhymes, the exhibition shows individual questionnaires as well as toys and card games that originate from the Thuringian toy industry, among others. Young and young-at-heart exhibition guests can also try out bouncy games for themselves.

The exhibition will be opened digitally via Zoom on 6 August at 4 pm and will then be on display from 9 to 12 August in the exhibition room (Room 023) in the main building of the University of Jena (Fürstengraben 1).

Opening hours:
Monday (09.08.21) – Thursday (12.08.21): 9am – 6pm
Prior registration is requested by email to

Further exhibitions

An overview of all current exhibitions at the University of Jena can be found at

Title photo: Jens Meyer / University of Jena