Vitus Bering (Vitus Jonassen Bering).

Birth future navigator is not marked by any major events.Nobody imagined that the child will not just be a sailor and a great pioneer, but still in the service of another state.It's hard to say what reasons prompted the boy to enter the naval service in the Russian Empire was not so powerful was our power at the time.Perhaps Bering was able to see for themselves some promise.What is to some extent contributed to his discovery, which had practical, geographical, and historical significance.Behring not only opened up new lands and islands in the north of the country, but also drew a map of the coast, which was extremely important.

first years of life

Vitus Bering was born August 12, 1681 in Jutland (modern Denmark) in Horsens.Nothing special town did not differ: some churches and monasteries - that's all the sights.He began to develop only after 1442, when he was granted the charter business, and gradually developed into a commercial center.

City located on the beach and had a port.The hero of our story from the first years of life, admiring the waves and dreamed of traveling.Although his father was, according to some historians, customs, and never left their homes.It is not clear for what reason, but at the very beginning of his career sailor teenager took his mother's surname.

sea beckoned the boy, so it is not surprising that, having reached adolescence, he enrolled at the Amsterdam Marine Cadet Corps, and in 1703, at age 22, successfully completed it.But before Vitus Bering made a little trip to the East Indies Dutch ship.Apparently, after that future travelers Bering and I took a firm decision to link their fate with the sea.

At the service of Peter I

How to hit the Russian fleet Vitus Bering?His biography does not contain this through precise information.We only know that at that time by order of the Emperor Peter the Great of Russia Russian Navy Admiral Cornelius I. Cruys engaged experienced sailors set for the service.Sievers and Senyavin presented guy, saying that he had already been in the East Indies, therefore, some no experience still has.From other sources we know that Vitus wanted to serve as his cousin Sievers, it was in the Navy, and certainly in the Russian Empire.Whatever it was, but his dream has come true, and Behring sent to St. Petersburg.There he was assigned to manage the ship that transported the wood to build the fortress of Kronstadt.Not God knows what, but all the same sea!

Vitus Bering was soon promoted to lieutenant and began to perform more responsible and sophisticated tasks.He took part in the Azov campaign, track the movement of ships in the Gulf of Finland Swedes, participated in the march from Arkhangelsk to Kronstadt, he served on the ship "Pearl" with its stretch from Hamburg to St. Petersburg.And suddenly, rising to the rank of captain first, Behring leaving military service.

records Vitus Bering

If we make in chronological order all ranks and titles that received navigator Behring during his military career, we get the following table:




Admission to the naval service of the Russian Navy


received the rank of lieutenant (now a lieutenant)


Vitus Bering transferred to serve in the army onAzov Sea

The rank of Lieutenant-

given command of snows "Munker»


service on the Azov Fleet, participated in the war with Turkey


translation service in the Baltic Fleet


Vyborg, his marriage to Anne Christine


was promoted to captain 4 rank


Behring receives the command of the ship "Pearl," which he must deliver from Hamburg to Russia


Rank Captain 3rd Rank


Gets under the command of the ship "Selafail »


future sailor received the title Captain 2nd Rank

placed under the command of the ship Maulburg


Vitus Bering retiring with the rank of Captain 2nd Rank

That these titles and honors for 20 years of service honored Vitus Bering.Brief biography, however, did not disclose all the merits of the navigator.For historians and geographers more interesting part of his subsequent life.

Development and joining Kamchatka to the Russian Empire

is constantly increasing oppression of serfdom could not affect the history of Russia.Escaped peasants looking for land that would have served them refuge from persecution.Gradually, people are reached and Siberia, and there to Kamchatka.But the area has already been settled, so organized campaigns to capture and development of land, rich in natural resources, fur, etc... In 1598 the Siberian Khanate was broken, and the area became part of the Russian Empire.

need to study Kamchatka

Development of Kamchatka and other Siberian land was a matter of national importance.First of all it was necessary to replenish the treasury.But the pioneers were mostly poorly educated people who are primarily looking for minerals, open new territories and taxed local people.The state needed new land maps and sea route.

In 1724 Peter the Great issued a decree on the organization of a campaign to Kamchatka headed by Vitus Bering delivered.The traveler was ordered to get to Kamchatka, to build two boats and they went north to find a place where America is connected with Siberia, and to find out the way to European cities.

First Kamchatka expedition of Vitus Bering

was promoted to the rank of captain and leader of the first rank, the future traveler took up the order of the emperor.After 2 weeks - January 25, 1725 - the first members of the expedition set off from St. Petersburg to Kamchatka.The group consisted of two naval officers (Alexei Chirikov and Martin Shpanberg), surveyors, shipbuilders, navigators, rowers, sailors, cooks.The total number has reached 100 people.

The road was difficult and complicated.I had to get a variety of ways: carts, sledges with dogs, riverboats.Arriving in 1727 in Okhotsk, we began construction of ships for the main tasks of the expedition.These ships Vitus Bering reached the western coast of Kamchatka.In Nizhnekamchatsk was built warship "St. Gabriel", which explorer team went further.The ship passed through the Strait between Alaska and Chukotka, but due to the weather conditions the sailors could not see the coast of the American continent.

Partially objective of the expedition have been performed.However, returning in 1730 to St. Petersburg, navigator delivers a progress report and a draft of the next expedition.Most of the top officials and academics did not understand, like himself, Vitus Bering, which he opened.But most importantly it has been proved - Asia and America are not connected.A traveler was promoted to Captain-Commander.

second expedition to Kamchatka

After returning to the navigator to him, records and maps were treated with a certain distrust.We had to defend his honor and to justify the trust placed in him the highest.Yes, and not all goals are achieved.You can not stop halfway.Thus, a second expedition, and commands it Vitus Bering.Biography, written by his contemporaries traveler, says that, shortly before the first trip to the shores of Kamchatka, a Shestakov opened and the Strait, and even the Kuril Islands.Yes, but all these discoveries were not documented.The Dane was lucky - he was educated, able to structure and analyze the results obtained and well mapping.

second expedition of Vitus Bering had the following objectives: a study from Kamchatka to the Sea of ​​Japan and the mouth of the Amur, mapping the entire northern coast of Siberia, the achievement of the American coast, and trade with the natives, if any, will be found there.

Despite the fact that the imperial throne sat Anna Ivanovna, Russia has remained true to the precepts of Peter's.Therefore, the project interested influential officials of the Admiralty.Decree on conducting the campaign was published in 1732.Reaching the Okhotsk, Bering in 1740, building two packet boat - "Saint Peter" and "St. Paul."They researchers came to the east coast of Kamchatka.

results of the expedition

sea journey this time was more successful.But at the same time tragic - during winter in 1741 Vitus Bering died.What he discovered, could be assessed only subsequently.Because then check the validity of the results of his work was difficult - the road to Siberia is still too dependent on the whims of nature.But even if travelers have already started to use cards that was Vitus Bering.Discovery of the great pioneering allowed to do the development and exploitation of new land.

So, it was done the following:

  • Achinsk bay was founded Petropavlovsk.
  • through modern Bering Sea reached the coast of Alaska.
  • On the way back, and opened the Aleutian Islands Shumagin.
  • mapped the Aleutian Range.
  • detected and mapped Evdokeevskie Islands and Chirikov (fog).
  • Open Bering Island, where he died in 1741 navigator.
  • mapped the area north and east of Russia, in Siberia domestic.
  • Zakartografirovany Kuril Islands.
  • find a way to Japan.

If you examine the history of geographical discoveries, you'll find that this expedition was only part of a larger campaign.It was completed in just a few years, the field of Bering's death, and even then only because of his organizational talent.After all, he divided the participants into groups of the Northern Expedition, was delivered to each specific job.Despite the loss of life, the campaign has been completed very successfully.

As Vitus Bering looked like?

Appearance discoverer some biographers doubt.It turns out all the familiar picture, which depicted Vitus Bering (photo was not there), do not correspond to reality.These are portraits of his uncle.Disputes were resolved by examining the skull and recreation exterior using simulation.The result was obtained by the real face of the traveler.Indeed, Vitus Bering (photos are presented in the article) had a very different appearance.But this does not detract from the importance of his discovery.

nature of the great navigator

According to reports, the navigator had a few gentle nature, which is not suited for the head of the expedition.Still Bering twice appointed for the position.It should be noted another oddity.Researcher Siberia did not like to bring the case to the end result - he could stay in the moment when the goal at hand.This feature Bering celebrated and friends, and members of expeditions.Still, it is recommended it as a leader and organizer, and Peter the Great, and Anna Ivanovna.How can this be explained?It must be the fact that, despite all its shortcomings, Vitus Bering was an experienced sailor.He knew how to follow orders, was very responsible and executive, and, just as importantly, loyal to the state, in whose service consisted.Yes, likely because of these qualities, he was elected for such important geographical research.

Tomb researchers Kamchatka

After Vitus Bering met his death on the island, which he also discovered he was buried and installed in accordance with the traditions of the time, a wooden cross.It is clear that over time, the tree decayed and crumbled.However, in 1864 on the spot where, according to records of colleagues Bering, was his grave, he installed a new wooden cross.It was the merit of the Russian-American company, founded during the reign of Paul.

in 1991 was organized by the search expedition to the grave sites researcher Siberia.The island was discovered Bering's grave not only, but also five more sailors.The remains were recovered and sent to Moscow to study.On bones and skull was restored exterior of the traveler.Also, the scientists were able to figure out that he did not die from scurvy, as expected previously, but from a disease (which is, precisely, is not known).After completion of the studies remains were returned to the island and reburied.

objects that bear the name of the great navigator

In memory of the traveler and his contribution to geographical research, named after him such objects:

  • streets in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Nizhny Novgorod, Murmansk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky,Tomsk, Yakutsk.
  • Island Straits, Cape, glacier views.
  • Icebreaker and diesel-electric.
  • State University in Kamchatka.
  • Plants that grow in the Far East.

In addition, a traveler filmed "The Ballad of Bering and his friends."

value discovery explorer

impossible not to recognize the importance of sea voyages of Vitus Bering.Thanks to him there were the first well-written map of Siberia.Later, it helped the development of the Asian part of the Russian Empire.Through his expeditions it began active development of the region.Began to extract minerals, began to develop the mining and foundry industry.

Russian Empire had money flowing into the coffers and the new territory, strengthen its global importance and influence.And most importantly - the country had an opportunity to trade with the countries to which it was impossible to reach already mastered ways.After all, these areas were under the jurisdiction of other states who charge for their crossing a considerable toll.However, despite all its merits, the recognition of Vitus Bering was posthumously only after confirmation of their discoveries by other travelers.For example, a well-known now the Bering Strait received its name from an easy hand of James Cook.