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Adam Johann von Krusenstern

Adam Johann Ritter von Krusenstern (November 19, 1770 – August 24, 1846) was an Imperial Russian, Baltic German admiral and explorer, who led the first Russian circumnavigation of the Earth. In Russia, Krusenstern is known as Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern (Russian: Иван Фёдорович Крузенштерн).[1]



Krusenstern was born in Hagudi, close to Rapla, Estonia, into a Baltic German family descended from the Swedish aristocratic family von Krusenstjerna, which remained in Estonia after the country was ceded to Russia. In 1787, he joined the Russian Imperial Navy, and served in the war against Sweden. Subsequently, he served in the Royal Navy in 1793-99, visiting America, India and China.[2]

After publishing a paper pointing out the advantages of direct communication between Russia and China by Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, he was appointed by Tsar Alexander I to make a voyage to the east coast of Asia to endeavour to carry out the project.[2] Under the patronage of Tsar Alexander I and Baron Nikolai Rezanov, Krusenstern led the first Russian circumnavigation of the world. The purpose of the two-ship expedition was to establish trade with China and Japan, facilitate trade in South America, and examine California for a possible colony.

The two ships, Nadezhda (Hope, formerly HMS Leander) under the command of Krusenstern, and Neva (formerly HMS Thames) under the command of Captain-Lieutenant Yuri F. Lisianski, set sail from Kronstadt in August 1803, rounded Cape Horn, reached the northern Pacific, and returned via the Cape of Good Hope. Krusenstern arrived back at Kronstadt in August 1806.[2] Both seafarers made maps and detailed recordings of their voyages.

Upon his return, Krusenstern wrote a detailed report, Reise um die Welt in den Jahren 1803, 1804, 1805 und 1806 auf Befehl Seiner Kaiserliche Majestät Alexanders des Ersten auf den Schiffen Nadeschda und Newa (Journey around the World in the Years 1803, 1804, 1805, and 1806 at the Command of his Imperial Majesty Alexander I in the Ships Nadezhda and Neva) published in Saint Petersburg in 1810. It was published in 1811-1812 in Berlin; this was followed by an English translation, published in London in 1813 and subsequently by French, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and Italian. His scientific work, which includes an atlas of the Pacific, was published in 1827 in Saint Petersburg and won him an honorary membership in the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1816, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

As director of the Russian naval school Krusenstern did much useful work. He was also a member of the scientific committee of the marine department, and his contrivance for counteracting the influence of the iron in vessels on the compass was adopted in the navy.[2] Krusenstern became an admiral in 1841.[3] He died in 1846 in Kiltsi manor, an Estonian manor he had purchased in 1816, and was buried in the Tallinn Cathedral.


Also see Krusenstern (disambiguation).

The Russian training tall ship Kruzenshtern is named after him. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Krusenstern's circumnavigation, the ship retraced his route around the globe in 2005-2006.

The crater Krusenstern on the Moon is named after him. There is Krusenstern Island in the Bering Strait, as well as a small group of islands in the Kara Sea, southwest of the Nordenskiöld Archipelago, called Krusenstern Islands.

In Russia (as well as in other Russophone places), a fictional steamship Admiral Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern from the popular Prostokvashino animated film series is well-known, often as part of a catch phrase "Admiral I.F.Kruzenshtern, a man and a steamship", "pirated" from the title of a requiem poem by Vladimir Mayakovsky, To Comrade Nette, a Man and a Steamship. As a third-level linguistic derivation, there is a Russophone Israel klezmer-rock band, Kruzenshtern & Parohod ("Krusenstern and Steamship").


Regarding personal names: Ritter is a title, translated approximately as Knight, not a first or middle name. There is no equivalent female form.

See also


External links



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