The distant Franz Josef Land through the eyes of Russian photographers

Atlantic walruses, Hayes Island.

Atlantic walruses, Hayes Island.

Nikolay Gernet
Turquoise icebergs, snow white mountaintops, the mysterious spheres of Champ Island, arctic foxes and polar bears – this is just some of what one of the most hard-to-reach archipelagos of the world has to offer.
Tourism in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Ocean was discovered in 1873 during an Austro-Hungarian expedition headed by Julius von Payer and Karl Weyprecht.

Arctic Fox, Franz Josef Land.

Today, this archipelago is included into the northernmost and the largest specially protected natural areas of Russia - the Russian Arctic National Park.

Atlantic walrus, Wiener Neustadt Island.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the archipelago’s discovery, the park, along with the State Darwin Museum, prepared an exhibition featuring the incredible nature and inhabitants of this place.

Wiener Neustadt Island.

It exhibits 30 photos that reveal walruses, narwhals and bears against harsh Arctic landscapes.

Tourism in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

“In the Arctic, you have a feeling of something unreal, as if you’ve arrived on a different planet. Because the fog there is different, the clouds are different, the sunsets are different, the rainbow is different. It has some special purity, almost sterility, and that’s why you so acutely feel the need to protect, to preserve, to show it to all those who will not have the chance to travel here,” Nikolay Gernet, an employee of the national park and one of the exhibition’s creators, explains.

A family of narwhals in the waters of Franz Josef Land.

The exhibition will be on display at the State Darwin Museum until February 18, 2024.

Sea sandpiper, island Champa, Franz Josef Land.

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