Distinguished Dutch navigator.
Barents embarked on three voyages in search of the Northeast
A group of wealthy Dutch merchants intended to establish trade
relations with China across the Ob River.
Prior to this, the British showed such aspirations.
In 1594, four ships were equipped under the general command of
As part of this squadron, departing from Amsterdam, two ships
formed an independent detachment, which was headed by Barents.
He was instructed to go, bending around the New Earth from the
Already in early July, the ships reached Novaya Zemlya at a
latitude of 73º25′ N.
After going north, the sailors landed on the shore, finding there
traces of the Russian people.
Directing ships along the
west coast to the
northern tip of Novaya Zemlya, Barents discovered the Admiralty
Islands, William and the Crusades.
Moving on, the brave mariners passed the
headland of Nassau,
which was very prominent at sea, and made their way through the
ice to Cape of Consolation and with the greatest difficulties to the
Then the path was closed, and the Dutch were forced to turn back.
On the way back, Barents mapped the entire area he examined.
The ships of Nai were able to pass through the
Strait of Yugorsky Shar
into the Baydaratskaya Bay, which they took as the mouth of the Ob.
The news of the opening of the route to China caused great
enthusiasm in Holland, and in 1595 seven ships were already
equipped, and the government also made its contribution.
This time the expedition was unsuccessful.
Because of the heavy ice, the ships stopped at the exit from the
At the council that Nay convened, the captains spoke in favor of
returning home, and Barents, who suggested moving around the
northern tip of Novaya Zemlya, was forced to agree.
The failure had a sobering effect on the Dutch.
The government refused to subsidize subsequent expeditions;
nevertheless, the funds for sending two ships in 1596 were found.
The courage and determination of Barents scared the owners of the
ships, and he was assigned the role of navigator on the Gemskerk
However, the authority and influence of the Barents actually made
him the leader.
The ships left Amsterdam on May 10, reached the shores of Norway
and turned straight north.
At the latitude of 74° 30′N, they
discovered an island called Bear.
Continuing to the north, on June 19 they approached the vast land
unknown to them.
It was Spitsbergen, regularly visited by Russian industrialists.
Having met heavy ice north of Svalbard, they returned to the
At the council, opinions on the future route diverged.
At the insistence of Barents, his ship headed for the northern
end of Novaya Zemlya.
Overcoming heavy ice, reached the Oran Islands, and then finally
Desire and headed south-east to the mouth of the Ob River.
But the voyage was short.
Two days later, they were forced to turn to Novaya Zemlya and
took refuge in the bay, which they called
Here, on the northeast coast, the expedition, consisting of 17
people, was forced to winter.
The ship was seriously damaged, and the wintering men moved to
the shore, hastily erecting a house from a fin.
This wintering, one of the first in the Arctic, was very
Many had scurvy, two died, all suffered from intolerable cold.
The mention of the throes of cold is constantly found in the
diary of the expedition member Gerrit De Fehr: “The weather is
severe, and a cold wind blows from the east.
We look at each other with pity, fearing that we will die if the
frost is even stronger.
For whatever great fire we lay, we cannot warm ourselves".
Or: “The house is terrible cold.
You stand near the fire so close to it that you almost burn the
front parts of your legs, and your back freezes and becomes covered
In May, the sea cleared of ice, and the Dutch began to prepare
for the return.
The damaged vessel was not suitable for navigation.
In mid-June, went home in boats.
By this time, Barents was already seriously ill.
The approach of death did not deprive him of courage;
until the last moment he gave instructions to the crew regarding
the upcoming voyage.
He could no longer walk, and he was carried into the boat in his
Barents died while sailing on June 20, 1597 near the northern tip
of Novaya Zemlya and was buried at sea.
Even on the day of his death, he carefully studied the map he had
drawn up, comparing with the banks sailing past.
In the afternoon, he ordered to lift himself in his arms in order
to get a better look at Cape Icy, then he asked for a drink and
“The death of Barents”, wrote Gerrit de Fer, “caused us
considerable grief, for he was the main leader and indispensable
But we could not resist the will of God, and this thought was a
little comforting for us". His
comrades continued to move south and on 28 June in the Stroganov Bay
met Russian industrialists, who took an active part in their fate.
Having reached the mainland, the Dutch learned that there was a
foreign ship in Kohl.
This turned out to be the second ship of their expedition, which,
returning home from last year’s voyage, was making a new expedition.
The Barents report on the expedition, left in a hut at the
wintering site, was only found in 1871 by the Norwegian captain
Despite the past 274 years, the hut itself and its interior were
perfectly preserved and fully corresponded to the description made
by Gerrit De Fehr.
previously Russian, Murmansk, Moscow, Studenoe.
The modern name is first found on the map of
A. Peterman in 1853.
Islands off the west coast of
Novaya Zemlya to the north of Cape Litke.
The island (William) off the
west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya south of the
Named in 1594 by the Barents expedition on behalf of the chief.
An island in the
southeastern part of the Svalbard archipelago.
Cape in the southeast of
Northbrook Island in the archipelago of Franz Josef Land.
Named in September 1879 by the commander of the Dutch research
vessel "Willem Barents".
The mountain in the north of the
island is Prince Charles Land in the Svalbard archipelago.
The village (Barentsburg) on
the island of Western Spitsbergen.
The name is given by the name of the Dutch mine, bought in 1932
by the Soviet government from the Netherlands.
Strait (passage Barents) between
the islands Fuglesangen and Klovningen north-west of the island of