The conference dinner will be generously sponsored by Leica.

The conference dinner will take place at the beautiful, medieval Leuchtenburg castle near Jena. Buses will start at different places in Jena (e.g. at hotels or in the city centre) and catch all participants up bringing them on their way to a fascinating and extraordinary evening, which brings to life the customs and spirit of the Middle Ages. Arriving at the Leuchtenburg and leaving the buses your time travel will start.

You will crest the mountain accompanied by the Herold of the castle while torches will light up your way. The inner ward of the castle is transformed into a medieval market town. Performers, musicians and waiters are dressed in medieval costume. Visitors are greeted by authentic medieval music, dance, magic, jugglers as well as food and drink according to original recipe.

Enjoy a unforgettable evening at one of the most famous sights in the surroundings of Jena!

Buses start in Jena at approx. 17:45 h and will leave Leuchtenburg at approx. 22:00 h

Thanks to generous sponsoring by Leica, tickets are available at € 25 and can be booked at the same time when registering for the conference through our website. Only a limited amount of tickets will be available during on-site registration in Jena.

Leuchtenburg: Short history

The castle is first mentioned in 1221, when it was built by the owners of Lobdeburg castle, six miles away, as both a home and a fortress. Its mountain site - ideal for defense - is dominating the valley.

In the thirteenth century the nearby town of Kahla belonged to the noble family of Leuchtenburg, who rose quickly to wealth, but declined because of quarrels over wills. The property passed at the beginning of the fourteenth century to the counts of Schwarzburg and the Landgraves of Wettin, who fought each other for possession of the central Saale. At this time Germany was split by feudal wars, while the central power was weak.

In 1333 the Leuchtenburg was handed over to the towns of Kahla and Stadtroda. The local people suffered badly in the feudal wars, many being killed, while the towns were burnt down. The castle itself was destroyed in 1370 but soon rebuilt. The merchants in the towns prospered while the nobles fought and one Count of Schwarzburg had even to mortgage the castle to Heinrich vom Paradies of Erfurt. He presided over the court in 1392 when a peasant was hanged for fishing in the castle waters. The castle was stormed by the margraves in revenge and the nobles authority ended. Then the castle became a local government center for the courts, the collecting of taxes, police and crown affairs. The governors oppressed the people with heavy taxes, and they rebelled in 1525 (The Peasants War). But they were betrayed, beaten, disarmed and punished, Elector John of Saxony sat in judgment at a special court held in Kahla market place. The people suffered again in the Thirty Years War (1618- 48), having to pay war debts and feed the armies passing by.

Between 1700 and 1724 the Duchy of Saxon-Altenburg moved the government offices from the castle and built there a prison, workhouse and mental hospital. By 1871, 5.196 convicts had been imprisoned here. Chains and cudgels for disciplining the prisoners are to be seen in the museum. In 1869 the wearing of chains was abolished; this was the last but one duchy in Germany to do so.

A favorite center for excursions, the workhouse was converted into a hotel and in 1919 the castle became a youth hostel. It can accommodate over 100 boys and girls and over 80.000 visitors come here every year.