Thuringia

Thuringia (English: /θəˈrɪniə/; German: Thüringen [ˈtyːʁɪŋən] (listen)), officially the Free State of Thuringia (Freistaat Thüringen [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈtyːʁɪŋən]), is a state of Germany. Located in central Germany, it covers 16,171 square kilometres (6,244 sq mi), being the sixth smallest of the sixteen German States (including City States). It has a population of about 2.1 million.[4]

Free State of Thuringia
Freistaat Thüringen
Coordinates: 50°51′40″N 11°3′7″E
CountryGermany
CapitalErfurt
Government
  BodyLandtag of Thuringia
  Minister-PresidentBodo Ramelow (The Left)
  Governing partiesThe Left / SPD / Greens
  Bundesrat votes4 (of 69)
Area
  Total16,171 km2 (6,244 sq mi)
Population
 (2020-12-31)[1]
  Total2,120,237
  Density130/km2 (340/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Thuringians
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 codeDE-TH
NUTS RegionDEG
GRP (nominal)€64 billion (2019)[2]
GRP per capita€30,000 (2019)
HDI (2018)0.921[3]
very high · 12th of 16
Websitethueringen.de
Map

Erfurt is the state capital and largest city. Other cities are Jena, Gera and Weimar. Thuringia is bordered by Bavaria, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Saxony. It has been known as "the green heart of Germany" (das grüne Herz Deutschlands) from the late 19th century due to its broad, dense forest.[5] Most of Thuringia is in the Saale drainage basin, a left-bank tributary of the Elbe.

Thuringia is home to the Rennsteig, Germany's best-known hiking trail. Its winter resort of Oberhof makes it a well-equipped winter sports destination half of Germany's 136 Winter Olympic gold medals as of 2014 were by Thuringian athletes.[6] Thuringia was favoured or was the birthplace of three key intellectuals and leaders in the arts: Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Friedrich Schiller. The state has the University of Jena, the Ilmenau University of Technology, the University of Erfurt, and the Bauhaus University of Weimar.

Thuringia had an earlier existence as the Frankish Duchy of Thuringia, established around 631 AD by King Dagobert I. The state was established in 1920 as a state of the Weimar Republic from a merger of the Ernestine duchies, save for Saxe-Coburg. After World War II, Thuringia came under the Soviet occupation zone in Allied-occupied Germany, and its borders were reformed, to become contiguous. Thuringia became part of the German Democratic Republic in 1949 but was dissolved in 1952 during administrative reforms, to be divided into the Districts of Erfurt, Suhl and Gera. Thuringia was re-established in 1990 following German reunification, slightly re-drawn, and became one of the new states of the Federal Republic of Germany.