The Free State of Thuringia is a federal state in central Germany. It has an area of 16,171 square kilometres (6,244 sq mi) and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states. Most of Thuringia is within the watershed of the Saale, a left tributary of the Elbe. The capital is Erfurt.
Thuringia has been known as "the green heart of Germany" (das grüne Herz Deutschlands) from the late 19th century, due to the dense forest covering the land.
It is home to the Rennsteig, Germany's most well-known hiking trail, and the winter resort of Oberhof making it a well known winter sports destination. Half of Germany's 136 Winter Olympic gold medals (through the Sochi games in 2014) have been won by Thuringian athletes.