Willem Barents

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Willem Barentsz
BirthplaceTerschelling, Seventeen Provinces
Known for Exploration of the Arctic

Barents, Willem:

see Barentz, WillemBarentz or Barents, Willem
, d. 1597, Dutch navigator. He made three voyages (1594, 1595, 1596–97) in search of the Northeast Passage to Asia. He reached Novaya Zemlya on the first two expeditions.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Barents, Willem


(also W. Barendsz). Born circa 1550 in Amsterdam; died June 20, 1597, near the northern end of Novaia Zemlia. Buried in Novaia Zemlia. Dutch navigator.

Between 1594 and 1597, Barents made three trips around the northern Arctic Ocean with the goal of finding a northeastern passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The expedition of 1596–97 rediscovered Bear and Spitsbergen islands. Impassable ice forced the expedition to winter on the northeastern coast of the island Novaia Zemlia. On the basis of his observations Barents mapped Novaia Zemlia, was the first to make meteorological observations of an annual cycle, and was the first to make soundings along his ship’s course, in the sea which subsequently was given his name. An island of the Spitsbergen archipelago and the settlement and port of Barentsburg, on Vestspitsbergen Island, were also named in honor of Barents.


Veer. G. de. Plavaniia Barentsa, 1594–1597. Leningrad, 1936.
Pasetskii, V. M. Villem Barents (1550–1597). Moscow, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bear Island was discovered by the Dutch explorers Willem Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk in 1596.
One thinks of Willem Barents's crew's escape by boat in 1597 from Ledyanaya Gavan' on northeastern Novaya Zemlya all the way south to Kol'skiy Poluostrov (De Veer, 1876), a distance of some 1200 km.
The three voyages of Willem Barents to the Arctic regions (1594, 1595,and 1596), 2nd ed.
Willem Barents's third polar expedition in search of the Northeast Passage -- a coveted shipping route to the Orient.
These cairns are in the area visited by Dutch seafarers between 17 and 22 June 1597, after their wintering on Novaya Zemlya, and may contain the body of Willem Barents. Barents and one of his crewmen died on 20 June 1597 while the winterers were on landfast ice close to shore.
Key words: Novaya Zemlya, Willem Barents, historical archeology, Arctic exploration, cairns, burial rituals, cartography
Ces cairns se trouvent dans la region visitee par des navigateurs neerlandais entre le 17 et le 22juin 1597, apres leur hivernage en Nouvelle-Zemble, et ils auraient pu contenir le corps de Willem Barents. Ce dernier et un membre de son equipage perirent le 20 juin 1597, alors que les hivernants se trouvaient sur la glace pres du rivage.
During Willem Barents's third voyage to the North and the wintering on Novaya Zemlya (1596-97), many astronomical observations were made.
Key words: Arctic, Novaya Zemlya, Willem Barents, Gerrit de Veer, wintering, Northeast Passage, astronomical observations, magnetic variation, Novaya Zemlya effect