The Goethe and university town of Ilmenau is located in Thuringia, about 33 kilometers southwest of the state capital of Erfurt in the valley of the Ilm at the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest. It is the largest town in the Ilm-Kreis and the eleventh largest in Thuringia. Ilmenau functions as a means Center for the southern part of Ilm-Kreis. It has the only city in Thuringia, which is also county seat, the status of a large district town. The most important institution in the city is the University of Technology, are enrolled at the approximately 7,000 students (as of winter 2012/13). The university is by the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, the second largest in Thuringia. Supporting industry is mechanical engineering. Historically significant and mining (copper, silver and manganese), since 1777 the porcelain industry and the glass industry were. Increasingly, tourism is gaining importance. The city was relatively insignificant away over the centuries. She grew stop until after the founding of the German Empire in 1871 began the industrialization. Like other cities in the new federal states experienced Ilmenau since the turn of 1990 a structural transformation from an industrial to a service industry. The time of Goethe and in the following decades Ilmenau was a popular holiday destination of the "Weimar prominence" to the First World War is also a spa.