Saaremaa’s involvement in the expedition and Bellingshausen
Bellingshausen was born in the manor of Lahhentagge in Saaremaa on the 20thof September 1778. (O.S.) Multiple geographical locations are named in his honour. In addition, town house in Kuressaare Garnison street and Pilguse manor belonged to his family for more than 220 years. Having spent the last years of his life in Kronstadt Russia, admiral Bellingshausen was a member of the local Estonian and islander’s community and had a part in opening the Estonian-language school there. In addition to other monuments, there is also a monument in Kronstadt for the famous explorer and more than 20 locations all over the world, furthermore even a crater on the far side of the Moon, have been named after him.
Islanders and the whole Estonia are especially proud of that heritage. 2020 will mark 200 years from discovering Antarctica. In January 1820 the Russian expedition lead by Fabian Gottlieb Benjamin von Bellingshausen near the continent of Antarctica. Throughout the years, Bellingshausen was the first person to catch sight of Antarctica. For a successful expedition Bellingshausen was named a vice admiral, in 1843 admiral and in 1845 he was one of the founders of the Russian Geographical Society. Between 1830-1839 vice admiral Bellingshausen worked as the division commander of the Baltic Fleets 2 flotilla.
In addition to the monument to mark the discovery of one of the most intact and isolated continents in the world, an expedition called Antarktika 200 has been set up, coordinated by Tiit Pruuli. To follow Bellingshausen`s journey a sailing vessel named after him will begin it`s voyage in the summer of 2019.