Willem Barents

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

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bear Island was discovered by the Dutch explorers Willem Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk in 1596.
Officially discovered by the Dutch explorer Willem Barents in 1596 while he was searching for a northeast passage to Asia, the area went on to become a centre for whaling during the 17th and 18th centuries, before mining and scientific research became the main activities during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The three voyages of Willem Barents to the Arctic regions (1594, 1595,and 1596), 2nd ed.
The majority first glimpse its peaks from a ship's deck--just as its official discoverer Willem Barents did in 1596.
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.
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.
Mots cles: Nouvelle-Zemble, Willem Barents, archeologie historique, exploration arctique, cairns, rites funeraires, cartographie
Key words: Arctic, Novaya Zemlya, Willem Barents, Gerrit de Veer, wintering, Northeast Passage, astronomical observations, magnetic variation, Novaya Zemlya effect
Le troisieme voyage de Willem Barents vers le Grand Nord et son hivernage en Nouvelle-Zemble (1596-97) ont donne lieu a de nombreuses observations astronomiques.
Mots cles: Arctique, Nouvelle-Zemble, Willem Barents, Gerrit de Veer, hivernage, passage du Nord-Ouest, observations astronomiques, declinaison magnetique, effet de Nouvelle-Zemble
On 20 June 1597, Willem Barents died, and only hours after him, so did another crew member, Claes Andriesz.