Famous explorers and travelers - great journeys and expeditions

Since the beginning of our civilization, we have an irresistible desire to discover the uncharted. In our history there are many who had the spirit of an adventurer and decided to explore the unknown. Famous explorers are brave, determined and clever diplomats. They risked their lives many times for unique experiences of discoveries new lands.

Nowadays, when the map of the world seems tightly filled with lands and waters and we proudly believe that everything what was waiting to be discovered was discovered. Our interests are focused on the extraterrestrial and we lose sight of the significance of geographic discoveries. What drives people who set out on distant and dangerous journeys? Curiosity of undiscovered, ambition, lust for adventure or maybe greed? The reasons leading brave travelers and the effects of their expeditions often surprise modern researchers and people who are curious about the world.

The great era of documented geographical explorations began more than five hundred years ago with the revolutionary changes in the rules of sailing through the open ocean waters was initiated by Prince Henry the Navigator and the famous Portuguese sailors. Without a doubt, the first ocean expedition of Christopher Columbus to the west searching new way to India in 1492 and discovery of America is considered to be the greatest achievement in the history of explorations. Soon after in 1498 Vasco da Gama rounding Africa cleared the road to the east to India. With other Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian and French sailors caused great changes in societies and deserves to be called a famous explorers.

The next decades of great explorations with the first expedition around the globe of Ferdinand Magellan or the maritime expedition of Jacques Cartier discovering the previously unseen east coast of Canada. On land, the prospect of great discoveries combined with wealth pushed people like Hernan Cortes, Francisco Pizzarro or Hernando de Soto to get the reputation of a famous explorer. For a long time, research expeditions were undertaken mainly for religious reasons and the desire to conquer new areas and gain wealth and fame.

However in the eighteenth century a new type of versatile scientists appeared. They undertook glove of dangerous research journeys with great sacrifice, exceptional energy and commitment. Captain Bougainville and James Cook are real new land famous explorers. Lewis and Clark led by the Indian guide Sacagawea and their special expedition to reach west coast of North America are great example of courage. In every unexplored region on the map of the world new discoveries were always going by explorers fed by descriptions and experiences of their predecessors.

Our understanding of the world has changed thanks to the expansion of human knowledge about natural resources, different cultures and distant areas of the world. In the pursuit of discoveries, unusual men and women gained superhuman strength in the most inhospitable areas. There are also those who are still looking for unknown places on Earth, ready with vigor and determination to cross the boundaries of what is known. Perhaps thanks to them maybe a new era of great discoveries begins…

Our articles will introduce you to the world of the most ancient distant journeys and discovering unknown lands. You will experience extraordinary adventures. You will meet courageous, determined, full of passion, energy and faith in their abilities people whose achievements have changed the world. We will describe famous explorers and travelers thanks to which mankind met the world and make contact between distant places on Earth. You’ll find out how the explorers discover new lands and how their lives changed after making great discoveries. But above all, we will tell you about their dreams. Dreams that thanks to persistence, ambition and strength led to great discoveries and decided about the final success.

Stories

Map of the world 1720

Age of exploration

Great Age of exploration starts with improved sailing techniques and progressive development of trade in the Mediterranean Sea and open waters in 15th century. This story shows geographical discoveries and causes and effects on different cultures.

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List of famous explorers

Marco Polo

Marco Polo

Famous for: He was one of the first representatives of the West Europeans to reach the China.

A Venetian merchant and traveler. Together with his father and uncle, he arrived in China, wandering the Silk Road. His colorful travels were written in a book known as “Describing the World” by Rustichello of Pisa while Marco Polo was in captivity in prison after losing the naval battle between Venice and Genoa.

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Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus

Famous for: The organizer and captain of four exploratory expeditions from Spain to America.

Italian sailor, traveler and navigator. Captain of an expedition of three ships: “Santa Maria”, “Nina” and “Pinta” under the Castile flag in search of the western sea route to East Asia. It was the first expedition in the history of modern geographical discoveries that reached America on October 12, 1492.

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Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama

Famous for: He was the first to travel from Europe to India in 1498 and opened a sea trade route with Asia.

The Portuguese explorer who first reached by sea from Europe to India. Thanks to the subsequent expeditions and conquests on the African and Asian continent, it has enabled Europeans to trade freely with southern Asia.

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Ferdinand Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan

Famous for: His expedition first circumnavigated Earth in the years 1519-1522.

Portuguese sailor in the Spanish service, discoverer and sea traveler. On September 20, 1519, he set out from Spain on the western route, that is through the Atlantic Ocean, to the Spice Islands in the Malay Archipelago. He died on April 27, 1521, killed by the inhabitants of the island of Mactan in the Philippine Archipelago. Later this expedition first circumnavigated Earth.

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Prince Henry the Navigator

Prince Henry the Navigator

Famous for: The father of Portuguese geographical discoveries.

Under his wings, the famous Portuguese sailors were discovering further areas of the west coast of Africa, although he did not sail. He contributed to the establishment of the University of Lisbon – the largest research center in the region and was the founder of the world’s first marine academy in Sagres.

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Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier

Famous for: Discoverer of North America's east coast - today's Canada and the river of St. Lawrence.

French sailor and navigator. The expedition under his command tried to find a new way to Asia through North America but instead discovers Canada and the river of St. Lawrence.

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Bartholomew Diaz

Bartholomew Diaz

Famous for: As the first European, he reached the southern tip of Africa by water and discovered the Cape of Good Hope.

Portuguese Sailor, discoverer and captain of the expedition, which drifted in 1488 to waters of the Indian Ocean. He discovered the Cape of Good Hope – the farthest point in the south of Africa.

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John Cabot

John Cabot

Famous for: He discovered Newfoundland and Labrador. He reached the continental shores of North America.

John Cabot known as Giovanni Caboto Italian traveler and sailor, citizen of the Republic of Venice, who in 1495 settled in England and served the King Henry VII. During an expedition in 1497 searching for the western route to India, he discovered the eastern coast of North America. He discovered New Funland and Labrador. During his second expedition in 1498 he got to Cape Hatteras, which was later the source of the England Crown’s claims to the colonies there.

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Amerigo Vespucci

Amerigo Vespucci

Famous for: A participant in the Spanish exploratory expeditions. He colorfully described the newly learned lands and recognized them as a new continent. From his name he was called America.

Italian merchant, navigator and sea traveler. He participated in the Pinzon’s expedition during which the mouth of the Amazon was discovered. Vespucci’s letters with colorful descriptions of the known lands gave him notoriety greater than Christopher Columbus. From his name, the new continent was called America. He explored much of the east coast of South America. He described the discovery of the rivers Rio de Janeiro and the Rio de la Plata as well as Patagonia and South Georgia.

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James Cook

James Cook

Famous for: He explored the coasts of New Zealand, Australia, North America and Antarctica. He discovered Hawaii.

English sailor and explorer, cartographer and astronomer. In the years 1768-1780 he organized and directed three research expeditions around the world. He explored the coasts of New Zealand, Australia, North America and Antarctica. He died during the third trip in Hawaii.

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Francis Drake

Francis Drake

Famous for: Between 1577 and 1580, he circumnavigated the globe. He discovered the strait between South America and Antarctica, later called the Strait of Drake.

English admiral by the English recognized as a hero and explorer who circumnavigated Earth. Whereas for the Spaniards he was a pirate and an adventurer. He helped defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588 and was the most famous sailor of the Elizabethan era.

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Hernán Cortés

Hernán Cortés

Famous for: He led to fall of the Aztec civilization. Discoverer of the California Peninsula in 1536.

Spanish conquistador. His first achievement was participation in the 1511 expedition to conquer Cuba for Spain. In 1519-1521 he led an expedition to explore and conquer the lands of Central America. His diplomatic and war activities with the Aztec Empire ended in the fall of civilization. For many years he ruled over the conquered area.

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