Category Archives: Explorer’s list


Geologist, Palaeontologist, researcher of Siberia, he filled in the blanks in its map, and was responsible for mapping previously unknown geological regions of Russia

Aleksander Czekanowski’s father, Wawrzyniec, was a passionate entomologist and collector of insects. But it would be because of his son – prisoner of tsarist Russia, exiled barefoot to Siberia – that insects, arachnids, plants, mountains passes would carry his name…

Aleksander Czekanowski
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JAN CZERSKI (1845-1892)

Palaeontologist, Geologist, indefatigable Siberian researcher, pioneer researcher of the region between the great rivers of Indigirka and Kolyma

Jan Czerski, who for his participation in the January uprising against Russia was exiled as prisoner of the Tsar to the antipodes of the Russian empire, was also considered to be one of the most outstanding researchers of Siberia by some Russian scientists. His research of the Baikal  “become the basis of the study of the tectonic development of the Asian continent, and the mountain ridges rising above them, and led him, for the first time in world science, to the concepts of geomorphologic evolution” – claimed the outstanding Soviet geographer L. S. Berg. According to the chroniclers of the Russian Geographical Society, this exiled visitor to Siberia, self-taught, surpassed the greatest local scientists with his acumen.

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Naturalist, physician, explorer of Siberia and Kamchatka, distinguished contributor to the study of Lake Baikal, called the “father of Polish limnology”

“As a young boy in Lithuania, I heard stories about the life and deeds of Dybowski told by exiles returning from Siberia. In the long winter evenings I would avidly listen – as to the adventures of Robinson Crusoe – as Dybowski, Dubiecki and Kietliński built a hut in Darasun or chopped ice to set nets to catch the creatures of Lake Baikal; or as Dybowski, preparing for an expedition on the Amur river, built a ship and then as he helped out the lepers in the Commander Islands” recalled Julian Talko-Hrycewicz, professor of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow (Domaniewski, 1954). For his generation Benedykt Dybowski was a true hero.

Benedykt Dybowski
Source: Słabczyński W., ”Polscy podróżnicy i odkrywcy”
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Traveller and researcher in the cultures of Oceania. Pioneer in studies of Micronesia. His ethnographic descriptions belong to the first such detailed reports from this part of Oceania

Jan Kubary, 1873
Source: Wikimedia Commons
(after Smolińska L., Sroka M., “Great known and unknown”, Warsaw 1988)

Born in Warsaw, which was then under Russian jurisdiction, in a Poland partitioned between the neighbouring states of Prussia, Russia and Austria. He studied medicine there. At the age of 17, he took part in the 1863 January Uprising against the Russians. In trying to avoid being sent to Siberia, he got fell into the snares of the tsarist secret police by accepting to work as an agent. To escape from these unfortunate connections and from the suspicion of his relatives, in 1868 he went to Berlin, and then to Hamburg, where he signed a contract with a wealthy owner of a museum specializing in ethnographic and natural history collections – Johann Cezar Godeffroy.

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Designer and builder of Central Trans-Andean Railway, the highest situated rail in the world for over 100 years

At the altitude of 4818 m, the railroad weaves its path from the desert coast of the Pacific, where Lima is located, to Andean snow – “a miracle of nineteenth century engineering”. It was designed, constructed under dramatic circumstances, as well as funded by a Pole. It is astounding, how this engineering genius, Ernest Malinowski, who died childless, has been forgotten, even though his image appeared on Lima’s monuments.

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Archaeologist, Egyptologist, art historian, creator of the “Polish school of Mediterranean Archaeology” linking research and conservation work.

In a few words, we, his students, remember Professor Kazimierz Michalowski as a Renaissance man, sensitive to the problems of the world, a passionate researcher, tempered by military discipline and patience, one that enjoyed life to the fullest. He was a positive thinker even in the most difficult moments.

Kazimierz Michałowski in 1967
Source: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
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The Tatra Mountains climber (‘taternik’), alpinist, and polar explorer. Founder of the Faculty of Biochemistry at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan.

– I do not like to walk in someone else’s footsteps…, said Prof. Dr. Ryszard W. Schramm. And indeed, he set his own.

Ryszard Wiktor Schramm
Source: Wielka Encyklopedia Tatrzańska
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A polar explorer, Tatra Mountains climber (‘taternik’), and geologist. Participant of the first Polish polar expedition to Bear Island and creator of the Polish Polar Station – which now bears his name – on Spitsbergen.

– He was an outstanding scholar who made a significant contribution to Polish geology – recalled Stanisław Siedlecki’s friend, Prof. Ryszard W. Schramm. – And there would probably be no Polish polar expeditions as they are today without him.

Stanislaw Siedlecki on a boat during an expedition to Bear Island.
Source: Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe
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