Payer Julius Ritter von 

Austrian officer and polar explorer, artist. 
Born in Schönau near Toeplitz. 
After graduating from the military college in Wiener Neustadt in 1859  he served in the Austrian army and taught history in a military school. Combined this work with expeditionary research: he made photographs of the Austrian Alps and participated in the second German polar expedition of K. Koldevey. In 1872  together with Karl Weiprecht led the expedition on the ship "Tegettgof". Its organization was initiated by the German geographerA. Peterman, and directly organized by the rich Austrian philanthropist G. Wilczek and later a special committee of prominent representatives of the Vienna Geographical Society. Initially, the main task was to achieve the North Pole. This aspiration was based on Peterman's conviction of the existence of a free sea in high latitudes. 
However, after the reconnaissance voyage of Payer and Weiprecht in 1871, the expedition was reoriented to the northern part of the Barents Sea to explore the sea north of Siberia and possibly find the Northeast Passage.


A plaque on the house where Yu. Payer was born

(Photo from

1872 was very Arctic in the Barents Sea. The "Tegettgof" could not even reach the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya. In August  the ship was wiped off by ice off the western shores of the northern island, as it turned out, forever. After a year-long drift in the north-north-east direction on August 30, 1873  through the breaks of fog in the north-west, the expedition members saw the outlines of the rocks. The Austrians called the open land after their emperor Franz Joseph. It was possible to enter the land only on November 1. With the onset of daylight hours in March – April, the Austrians made sled trips headed by Payer. It was reached, as it turned out later, the northernmost point of the archipelago Cape Fleegely on Rudolph Island. It seemed to Payer that to the north is another land. This is how one of the mythical lands of the Arctic, Peterman Land, appeared on the map. Only in 1900  a detachment of Lieutenant U. Cagni from the Italian expedition of Duke L. Abruzzi passed through this place, proving the absence of land here.


Gallia Island Cape Tegethof

(photo by S. Tikhonov)

Subsequently, a number of researchers expressed the opinion that Payer's mistake was that he represented an Franz Josef Land consisting of two large land masses separated by a wide channel. The reason for the appearance of such a representation is completely incomprehensible, since it is in no way confirmed by either the Payer card or the description made by it. In the course of his sleighing routes, for example, the following islands are open: Becker, Berghauz, Wilczek, Wiener Neustadt, Gall, Hohenlohe, Hoffmann, Wilczek Land, Karl-Alexander, Kuhn, Lamont, Mc Klintok, Rainer, Salm, Fredin. In addition, a number of small islands are not named here.


Hoffman Island. Cape Sugrobov

(photo by N.M. Stolbov)

Island Wiener Neustadt. Cape Tyrol

(photo by N.M. Stolbov)

Klagenfurt Island

(photo by S. Tikhonov)

On the left, Island Berghaus. On the right, Island Galley.

(photo by S. Tikhonov)

The top of Berghouse Island - 372m. The remains of the checkpoint

(photo by EA Korago)

Island Mac-Nult. On the horizon, Wilczek Land

(photo by S. Tikhonov)

Lamon Island

(photo by E.A. Gusev)

Having lost hope for the release of the vessel, the polar explorers, taking with them a few sledges and 4 lifeboats, on May 20, 1874, left the Franz Josef Land and headed south. The advance was very slow, moreover, the southern winds carried them back. After a month of movement, travelers still saw the masts of the abandoned Tegethof. Only on August 15  managed to reach clean water, and on August 23  two Russian commercial schooners were met in the Pukhovaya Bay on the southern island of Novaya Zemlya, one of which was commanded by industrialist Fedor Ivanovich Voronin (1829–1897), the great-uncle of the famous polar captain Vladimir Ivanovich Voronin. On the Voronin’s “Nikolai” schooner, Austrians were brought to the Norwegian port of Varde. 
For this expedition, Payer and Weiprecht were awarded the Order of Leopold and the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society. 
Later, until 1897 Payer continued to work on the map of Franz Josef Land. He is also the author of a number of paintings on the Arctic themes. The painting “Back to Never” in 1883 was awarded a gold medal at an exhibition in Munich. The picture “Tegetthof” left in the ice" was no less vivid. Payer wrote a remarkable book “725 days in the ice of the Arctic” about this expedition, an abbreviated Russian translation of which was published by Glavsevmorput in 1935. 
Payer was planning a new expedition to the Arctic, but already as an artist, but he failed to realize these plans. The son of M. Julius de Payer, who became a citizen of France, took over the baton from his father. 
He was going to study the northeastern part of the Franz Josef Land archipelago and even made a preparatory trip in the summer of 1913. Work continued to prevent the outbreak of the First World War.

Died in Vienna, buried at the Central (Zentralfriedhof) cemetery.


Entrance to the Zentralfriedhof cemetery

to Payer erected in Vienna. On a flat stone there is an inscription: “Julius von Payer, head of the expedition to the North Pole - 1872–74 ... 1-9-1842 - 30-8-1915”. 
An island in the center of the archipelago Franz Josef Land. Named by expedition A. Fiala in 1904. 
Territory (Land Payer) on the coast of East Greenland. Opened in 1869 by expedition K. Koldevey. 
Cape on the north coast of Greenland in the Lincoln Sea.

Cape on the east coast of the island of West Spitsbergen. 
Glacier on the island of Alexandra Land archipelago Franz Josef Land. Opened and named in 1895 by the expedition of F. Jackson.

Bay on the island of Pim in the Smith Strait between Greenland and Ellesmere Island.


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