Tomb of Jules Dumont d'Urville - Paris, France
Posted by: Metro2
N 48° 50.328 E 002° 19.445
31U E 450402 N 5409756
Quick Description: This monument celebrates Jules Dumont d'Urville and the Astrolabe...the French explorer and ship that discovered what is now known as Adelie Land in Antarctica in 1840.
Location: Île-de-France, France
Date Posted: 11/9/2011 1:18:32 AM
Waymark Code: WMD29T
D'Urville's tomb is located in Paris' Montparnesse Cemetery. The monument, sponsored by the French Geographic Society celebrates d'Urville three circumnavigations on the Astrolabe... a ship and crew that on its third voyage discovered and laid French claim to that portion of Antartica known as Adelie Land. See (visit link
This website (visit link
) adds some information:
"In 1836 Emperor Louis Philippe of France wanted France to play a part in the exploration of the Southern Seas. As he saw it an imbalance had arisen, though it was 60 years since the British ship Endeavour under Captain Cook had entered the ice and though British and American whalers and sealers, had been in Southern waters for over 50 years, France had yet to play any active role. Dumont d'Urville in Astrolabe would lead and would be accompanied by another ship La Zéléé captained by Charles Hector Jacquinot. Seven scientists accompanied the crews on the voyage.
Captain Jules Sébastien-César Dumont d'Urville was fifty years old and crippled by gout, as he went aboard the Astrolabe he overheard one of his men wondering if he would actually survive the voyage. He was promised a reward by the king for each degree passed beyond 67° south and "whatever you choose to ask for" if he reached the South Pole.
The ships left Toulon on September the 7th 1837, the aim to locate the southern magnetic pole.
On January the 22nd 1838 the ships came across Antarctic ice in the Antarctic peninsula region, d'Urville described it:
"...a marvellous spectacle. More severe and grandiose than can be expressed, even as it lifted the imagination, it filled the heart with a feeling of involuntary terror; nowhere else is one so sharply convinced of one's impotence. The image of a new world unfolds before us, but it is an inert, lugubrious, and silent world in which everything threatens the destruction of one's faculties"
They were unable to make much progress as their ships were sail only, they sighted the previously named Palmer Peninsula and then sailed for Chile. Scurvy affected the crew and two men died while 22 others deserted the ships or were too ill to carry on.
They sailed across the pacific in more temperate and tropical climes before heading south again to Tasmania arriving in November 1839. They set sail for Antarctica once again on the first of January 1840 and on the 19th sighted a part of the continent where the first ever landing on continental Antarctica was made. The area was described by d'Urville as " a formidable layer of ice... over a base of rock" it was named Terra Adélie after d'Urville's wife. Seeing a new kind of penguin, he named that too after his wife.
They determined the approximate position of the southern magnetic pole before heading back to Tasmania and New Zealand arriving back in Toulon France on November the 7th 1840."