Franz Josef Land - Islands - Names of The Islands

Names of The Islands

Very few of the islands in Franz Josef Land have Russian names. Most bear names of German, British, American, Italian and, in one case, Norwegian origin.

  • Most of the islands were named by the 1874 Weyprecht and Payer Expedition, who used names in honor of Austro-Hungarian royalty and aristocratic dynasties, as well as the names of noblemen who had contributed to finance their venture. For some reason, unlike in the rest of Russia where geographic features named after the nobility were renamed, the aristocratic names of the Franz Josef Archipelago were preserved during the Soviet era.
  • The Norwegian name "Hvidtenland" (Russian: Belaya Zemlya) was coined by the 1893 Fridtjof Nansen’s Expedition. Later it became apparent that it was a group of three islands.
  • The 1895 Fredrick G. Jackson Expedition named some islands after British Arctic explorers and also after personalities of the Royal Geographical Society, the sponsors of the expedition.
  • The 1901 Baldwin-Ziegler North Pole Expedition named certain islands after American scientists and explorers, sometimes renaming islands that had already been previously named, like La Ronciere Island, which they renamed "Whitney Island".
  • Finally there are a few islands that were named by the 1905 Luigi Amedeo Duke of the Abruzzi Italian Polar Expedition, like the Pontremoli Islands.

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