Jena Battlefield - History and Facts | History Hit

Jena Battlefield

Cospeda, Thuringia, Germany

Jena Battlefield was the site of a Prussian defeat in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Beckart

About Jena Battlefield

Jena Battlefield in Thuringia, Germany was the site of the Battle of Jena during the Napoleonic Wars. In October 1806, the Prussian army of Frederick William III together with Saxony troops met that of Napoleon’s French troops at Jena in Saxony, being modern day Germany.

Jena Battlefield history

On 14 October 1806, some 240,000 soldiers of the enemy armies of France and Prussia and their allies met on the battlefields of Jena and Auerstedt.

On the Jena battlefield, 150,000 soldiers fought on an area of about six times twelve kilometres, but only about 100,000 were directly involved in the battle.

The result of the day was a glorious victory for the French Emperor Napoleon I, which was the beginning of the end of the old Prussian state with 30,000 to 35,000 dead and wounded. It is now known as the Battle of Jena, a decisive defeat for the Prussian Army.

The battle of Jena was fought across a plateau to the north of the town of Jena. It was bordered on the east by the River Saale. Steep slopes led up from the Saale and Jena to the plateau, the most famous of them being the Landgrafenberg. This hill rose 500ft from Jena, but its northern slopes were much lower and very gentle. The southern edge of the battlefield was marked by the valley of the River Muhlbach, which runs west from Jena, before turning south.

Museum 1806 opened with new content in 1999. It is operated by the “Institute for Military History Research Jena 1806” with the assistance of the Jena Town Museum and is located on the Jena battlefield.

Jena Battlefield today

Today, visitors can tour Jena Battlefield, including Windknollen and Landgrafenberg, on guided tours.

Museum 1806, offers a good introduction to the Battle of Jena. Visitors can see contemporary exhibits relating to the battle and the 1806/1807 war between Prussia and France, together with numerous historic maps, pictures and reports by contemporary witnesses. Re-enactments of the battle also take place at Jena Battlefield on the anniversary of the conflict.

Getting to Jena Battlefield

The battlefield and museum are around a 15 minute drive from the centre of Jena. The nearest bus stop is Jena Cospeda.