On the Trail of Alexander von Humboldt | DW Travel | DW | 24.09.2012
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On the Trail of Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt is famed for his expeditions to South America and Russia. His ideas and findings still inspire scientists to this day. We search for traces of this Prussian naturalist and explorer in Germany.

On the Trail of Alexander von Humboldt

On the Trail of Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt donated much of what he brought back from his travels to the Natural History Museum in his home town of Berlin. A polymath whose interests ranged from botany and biology to demography and sociology, Humboldt viewed the world in a quite modern holistic manner. Before he travelled the globe he studied at the college of mining in Freiberg in Saxony. Various works of his are on exhibit there, including an original safety lamp he constructed for the miners.

humboldt memorial

In Berlin, you regularly encounter Humboldt memorials

In his next home, Bad Steben in Franconia, he established the first technical mining school in Germany. An educational trail there shows Humboldt's ideas for improving mining. A highlight is the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Stollen, the only preserved experimental adit entryway designed by Humboldt.

After his world travels, he lived in Paris, Potsdam and Berlin. There in 1859, Alexander von Humboldt died at the ripe old age of 89, one of the best known explorers and scientists of his day.

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