In its tourism marketing, Thuringia calls itself “the green heart of Germany” and, looking at the fact that large parts of the state are covered by old forests, that claim has a lot of value to it. Thuringia is a landlocked state that has moved into the center of Germany upon the country’s reunification.
Many places in Thuringia have a rich historical and cultural significance. Composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, where Martin Luther also lived and worked on his translation of the New Testament. Famous writers Goethe and Schiller both spent considerable time in the nearby city of Weimar. These places, as well as many regions in the state such as the Harz mountains in the northern part, the Rhön mountains in the West and the Thuringian Forest in the southern portion are destinations popular with domestic travelers in all seasons.
Thuringia’s population has been steadily decreasing ever since 1990. This is primarily due to the fact that many young people have left the state to other parts of Germany and the birth ratio has correspondingly become continuously lower. In addition, there is a tendency for inhabitants to move to urban centers, leaving many more rural areas more and more thinly populated.
The general economic situation has gradually become better since around 2005. While after the reunification unemployment rates soared when many outdated factories were shut down, new businesses have been founded since. Important industries are car manufacturing (Opel plant), mining and optics (Zeiss in Jena).