Faddei Bellingshausen

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bellingshausen, Faddei Faddeevich


Born Sept. 9 (20), 1778, on the island of Osel (now the island of Saaremaa, Estonian SSR); died Jan. 13 (25), 1852, in Kronstadt. Russian seafarer and admiral.

Bellingshausen studied at the Naval Cadet Corps at Kronstadt. During the years 1803–06 he took part in the first Russian round-the-world voyage on the ship Nadezhda, under the command of I. F. Kruzenshtern. Upon his return from this expedition, Bellingshausen was in command of several ships in the Baltic and Black seas. From 1819 to 1821 he led a round-the-world expedition on the sloops Vostok (commanded by Bellingshausen himself) and Mirnyi (commanded by M. P. Lazarev). The expedition was sent to the antarctic for the purpose of penetrating as far as possible toward the polar zone and discovering unknown lands. In 1819 several islands were discovered in the antarctic section of the Atlantic Ocean. Around Jan. 16 (28), 1820, the expedition discovered Antarctica, approaching it at 60° 21’ Slat. and 2° 14’ W long, (the region of the present-day Bellingshausen Glacier Shelf). On January 21 (February 2) Bellingshausen for the second time caught sight of the icy shores. On February 5 and 6 (17 and 18) the expedition sailed almost right up to the glacial mass. This allowed Bellingshausen and Lazarev to reach the conclusion that in front of them was a “continent of ice.” In 1821 an island was discovered, which was given the name Peter I, as well as a shore, which was named after Alexander I. The expedition also discovered a number of islands in the tropical part of the Pacific Ocean. On July 24 (Aug. 5), 1821, the ships returned to Kronstadt after a voyage that lasted 751 days. During the years 1828–29, Bellingshausen took part in the Russo-Turkish War. From 1839 he was military governor of Kronstadt.

Named after Bellingshausen are the sea in the Pacific Ocean, a cape on Southern Sakhalin, and an island in the Tuamotu Archipelago. Bellingshausen’s sea voyages are described in his book Two Explorations in the. Antarctic Ocean and a Trip Around the World From 1819–21, Made on the Sloops “Vostok” and “Mirnyi” . . . (1931; 3rd ed., 1960).


Bolotnikov, N. la. “Faddei Faddeevich Bellinsgauzen i Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev.” In Russkie moreplavateli. Moscow, 1953.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.