Welcome to Franz Josef Land
The biggest frozen area of land in the Russian Arctic.
Franz Josef Land is the very special archipelago of uninhabited islands located in the north-eastern part of the Barents Sea and is the northernmost portion of the land of Eurasia.
The distance of Franz Josef Land to the North Pole is only 900 km, to Kola Peninsula 1200 km and to Novaya Zemlya 360 km.
Franz Josef Land was officially discovered in 1873 by the expedition Weyprecht K. and J. Payer. It was named in honor of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph the First.
Geographically, the Franz Josef Land is a group of 191 islands, stretching from west to east 375 km and from north to south 234 km.
It is interesting to note that 71% of the total islands occupy only 0.4% of its area. Only 4 of the islands (George Land, Wilczek Land, Graham Bell Island and Alexandra Land) have areas exceeding 100,000 hectares.
85% of the area of Franz Josef Land is covered by glaciers and it is the biggest frozen area of land in the Russian Arctic.
Despite the truly harsh climate the nature of Franz Josef Land is unique in
its own way and charmingly. Franz Josef Land is a severe and amazing beautiful world of glaciers, mosses and lichens. About 5 million sea birds nest on the archipelago
every year, with the thick-billed guillemot accounting for 1 million. Other seabirds such as Fulmar, Kittiwake, Brünnich's Guillemot, Black Guillemot and
Little Auk are common throughout the archipelago. On the flat tundra nest other species such as: Common Eider, Purple Sandpiper, Arctic Skua, Glaucous Gull, Ivory Gull, Arctic Tern and Snow Bunting.
Franz Josef Land is home to two Arctic giants – the Polar bear and the walrus.
There is also a population of Arctic fox, which typically have their territories near seabird habitats.
The waters of Franz Josef Land are visited by whales, including the Humpback, the Bowhead, the Barwhal and the White whale Beluga. Walrus, ringed
seals, bearded seals and an amazing species of mammals, chose Franz Josef Land and the water areas around it as his home.
Beside flora and fauna Franz Josef Land’s highlights are the large amount of historical places, set up by members of various expeditions, who used Franz Josef Land as the springboard for reaching the North Pole.
For more detailed information about Franz Josef Land we refer to Wikipedia page: Franz Josef Land