Things to know about FC Carl Zeiss Jena

The Club

Despite its name and its common roots with the Zeiss works founded in Jena, FC Carl Zeiss Jena is no longer a factory club. The club sees itself as a separate brand that feels connected to the tradition of Zeiss and Abbe. The link with the name of a historical personality is totally unique in German professional football.

The Colours

The blue-yellow-white colour combination is borrowed from the city’s coat of arms and is also an absolute exception in German professional football. This is a welcome contrast to the well-known colour combinations.

The Ernst Abbe Sportfeld in Jena-Paradies

While we have seen the “arenaisation” of stadium names in recent years, Jena fans are proud that their stadium is called "Sportfeld". This is also unique in German football. The area where the sports field is located - the “paradise” at the foot of the Kernberge hills, with its beautiful cliffs and slopes, is equally unique and idyllic. Jena is located in a basin of the Saale river valley, and is one of the warmest cities in Germany.

The Record

Once an Olympic champion, always an Olympic champion. The title "Top of the all-time DDR League Table" also cannot be taken away from our FCC: it’s a title for eternity, and still today, it’s the most exclusive calling card of all the traditional East German clubs. By the way: Eberhard Vogel holds the record for number of matches played with 440 matches for FC Karl-Marx-Stadt and FC Carl Zeiss Jena.

Founding Year

Founded on May 13, 1903 as the "Carl Zeiss" Jena Football Club (re-established in January 1966 as FC Carl Zeiss Jena, a brief period as 1. SV Jena; SG Ernst-Abbe Jena; SG Stadium Jena; BSG Carl Zeiss Jena; BSG Mechanik Jena; BSG Motor Jena and, from November 1954, SC Motor Jena).

We had the greatest stars!

Jena are never satisfied with half measures. That was also true of the imposing floodlights in the "paradise". Inaugurated in 1974, they already suggested a dimension that the stadium and the club still had to grow into. The masts towered a full 70 metres above the stadium, and lit countless evening matches at the rather modest 15,000 capacity Jena Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld. The club vociferously celebrated the as yet unchecked floodlights as the “tallest floodlight masts in Europe” - a superlative that journalists gratefully jumped upon as of 2006, and which has since then wafted through the football world undisputed. Accompanied by the emotional pangs of Jena’s fans and citizens alike, the demolition of the “gentle giants” after the floods of spring 2013 only increased the curiosity of the press whether they really were the highest masts in Europe. And lo and behold - research by the journal "Stadionwelt" confirmed Jena’s claim. They were the most beautiful in any case.

The Jena Rule

Ever since the “Jena Rules” of January 1, 1893, which are among the oldest in the world apart from the Cambridge Rules, football has been played throughout the world without any trees or shrubs on the pitch. Something which sounds banal today paved the way for football back then. Even today, FCC play on the very areas beside the Saale river that once forced the invention of the rule. Incidentally, the Jena Rule was the answer to the twelfth question in one of the most-watched TV broadcasts ever. In the World Cup Special of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” on May 28, 2006, Hape Kerkeling alias Horst Schlämmer proudly gave the correct answer in front of 13.75 million viewers.

German Cup Successes

Hardly any club from the former GDR has played so successfully in the DFB Cup as FC Carl Zeiss Jena. The unforgettable highlight was the semi-final of 2008 at Borussia Dortmund - with 80,708 spectators, the best-attended DFB Cup match of all time. Previously, Jena had knocked out defending champions 1. FC Nuremberg, the reigning German champions VfB Stuttgart and the Bundesliga side Arminia Bielefeld. In addition, FCC reached the DFB Cup quarter-finals a further three times (in 1993 against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, in 1994 against RW Essen and in 1997 against MSV Duisburg). Simply a true cup team!


  • 87 UEFA Cup matches
  • UEFA Cup finalists 1981
  • UEFA Cup semi-finalists 1962

German Cup semi-finalists | East German champions | East German runners-up | Bronze medal in the East German Championship | East German Cup winners | East German Cup finalists | Intertoto Cup group winners | Gau Thuringia champions | Gauliga Mitte champions | Gauliga Mitte runners-up | Gauliga Mitte third-place