This wonderful ground was opened by Russian cossacks more than 300 years ago, but even nowadays Russians know just a little about it.
In the15th century Russians had the assumption of the existence of Northern seaway from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean; and they made attempts to find this way.
The first data concerning the peninsula was in the middle of the15th century.
In September 1648, the expedition of Fedot Alekseyev and Semen Degnev was in a channel between Asia and America, later in 80 years it will be rediscovered by Bering.
The travelers landed where they met "a lot of kind Chukchas".
Later the ship of Fedot Alekseyev was washed ashore in Kamchatka. Fedot Alexeyev was the first Russian navigator, who landed and spent winter on this peninsula.
Kamchatka has been populated long before coming of the first Russian explorers.
There were a lot of tribes and nationalities on its severe coasts.
Koryaks, Evens, Aleutians, Itelmens and Chukchis lived in mountains, tundra, and at the coast.
The picture of Kamchatka for the first time appeared on " the printed drawing of Siberia " in 1667.
30 years later the salesman Vladimir Atlasov, at the head of the group of 120 men has started a trip for the developing "new land" and laid the foundation of "Verhnekamchatsk" settlement.
He delivered to Moscow the data concerning the ground lying between the river Kolyma and America. Vladimir Atlasov's activity is considered to be the beginning of development Russian Kamchatka.
Researches and discoveries in the northeast of Russia were done by various people also at the beginning of the18th century. People differently imagined Kamchatka at that time, and differently pictured their representations.
For example, at Semen Remezov's "drawing of all Siberian cities and territories", the big Island Kamchatka is marked, and the
river Kamchatka flows from continent to the east, into the ocean. And later, Remezov, put Kamchatka on the map like a peninsula,
but that time it was difficult to imagine its configuration, it was quite different of what Kamchatka peninsula shape really was.
The researchers imagined Kamchatka to be an island, and a peninsula; In the Gamana atlas, issued in 1725, there is a map where to the left of Kamchatka the Caspian Sea is placed.
What Russian people knew about northeast of Asia by the time of Bering expedition, is possible to find out looking at the map of Siberia made by the geodesist Zinovjevym in 1727.
On that map the sea, where two capes - Nose Shalazkiy and Nose Anadirskiy are, to the south from which lasts the peninsula Kamchatka, washes the northeast extremity of Asia.
Composers and persons who made the map clearly imagined, that Asia in the northeast is not joined with any continent, this map refuted Peter's the 1st supposition, " about the connection of America and Asia ".
And as Vitus Bering's discoveried the channel, named after him, later, in August 1728, it is clear, that they could not affect the picture of the map by the geodesist Zinovjev.
In January, 1725, by Peter the Great's ordere the first Kamchatka expedition was organized and it gave the history such names as Alexey Chirikov and Martin Shpanberg.
The first Kamchatka expedition endowed much in the development of geographical conceptions about the north-east of Asia,
and first of all from the southern limits of Kamchatka up to northern coast of Chukotka.
However it was not authentically possible to prove, that Asia and America are separated by any channel.
When in August 15, 1728 the expedition reached 67 degrees of 18 minutes of northern breadth and it was not possible to see any ground,
Bering decided, that the task was done, and ordered to return back.
In other words Bering didn't see the American coast, and did not see that the Asian continent turns to the West - "turned out" to
become Kamchatka peninsula.
When Bering returned, he submitted the report with the project concerning a new expedition to the east of Kamchatka.
Bering was the true researcher and considered the point of honor and the patriotic debt to finish what he started.
The second Kamchatka expedition has been declared as the most difficult for all previous history.
The main task was to get to the northwest coast of America, to open a seaway to Japan, and develop industry, agriculture and farming in the new east and northern areas.
At the same time it was supposed to find "knowing people" and get ready expeditions for research of northern coast of
Siberia from Ob' river up to Kamchatka peninsula.
During preparation of expedition the circle of its tasks was extended. Finally it has led to those efforts of progressively conceiving
figures of that time that the Second Kamchatka expedition has turned to the large scientific and political enterprise,
which has marked the whole epoch on exploring of Siberia and the Far East.
During the period of 1733 - 1740 seamen and scientists included in that expedition made the large scientific researches.
In May 1741, the ships Saint Peter and Saint Paul which should become primogenitors of Petropavlovsk came to the mouth of Avacha bay and began to wait for a fair wind.
In June 4th they departed to the sea.
Expedition went to the southeast.
Right at the beginning of a route the bad weather has separated the ships and on the consequence, they should continue the way separately of each other.
In a history of geographical discoveries there was a surprising case: two ships separately making navigation during the whole month,
almost on the same day came to the coast of the fourth continent and put the beginning for geographical research of the place which was
later called Russian America (Alaska).
The ship Saint Paul, which was commanded by Alexey Chirikov, soon returned to the Peter and Paul Harbour.
The Saint Peter's ship and crew destiny has developed less successfully. The big storm, failure, heavy illnesses has fallen upon travelers.
Having landed on the unknown island participants of expedition struggled a cold, famine and scurvy.
Having gone through extraordinary difficult wintering, they have constructed new vessel using the fragments of their old ship and have managed to return to Kamchatka, but without their commander.
In December 8, 1741 two hours prior to a dawn the chief of expedition Vitus Bering has passed away.
He was buried due to a Protestant ceremony close to the camp. However the place of Vitus Bering's tomb is unknown.
Later the Russian-American company built a wooden cross on a prospective place of burial.
On 1892 officers of a schooner "Aleut" and employees on Commander islands have established in village Nikolskoe on Bering island an iron cross with an anchor chain.
On 1944, seamen of Petropavlovsk built on a place of a tomb of Bering a steel cross with the cement base.
Scientific and practical results of expedition are innumerable.
The most important of them: the way through Bering Strait is found. Kamchatka, Kuriles and northern Japan are described.
Chirikov and Bering have discovered the northwest America
Krasheninnikov and Steller explored Kamchatka.
The works of Gmelin on studying Siberia, materials on a history of Siberia collected by Miller can also be included in this list.
Meteorological researches of expedition are also interesting; they have served as a pulse to creation of permanent weather stations not only in Russia but on all the Earth as well.
The coast of Siberia from Vaigach up to Anadyr - an outstanding feat in a history of geographical opening are described. It is only brief list of what was made during Kamchatka expedition.
Such truly scientific and complex approach to work, which was carried out two and a half centuries ago should cause real respect.
The second Kamchatka expedition has immortalized on a geographical map of the world and in memory of the people such names as: Vitus Bering and the president of Admiralty Golovin, researchers and seamen Chirikov, Spanberg and Malygin,
Chelyuskin, Laptev, Ovcyn and Prochnischev
Among fellow-fighters of Bering there were outstanding scientists. Names of academicians Gmelin and Miller borrow a place of honor in a history of Russian and world science.
The most talented assistant of Miller and Gmelin was Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov.
His name carries one of islands at the coast of Kamchatka, cape on island Karaginsky and mountain near lake Kronotskoe on the peninsula.
He was first of naturalists investigated Kamchatka. Four years Krasheninnikov wandered on this far edge in loneliness collecting materials on geography, ethnography of island, climate and history.
On the basis of them, he created great scientific work " the Description of the land of Kamchatka " which value in due course was not lost at all.
Russian famous poet Pushkin read that book. "The Description of the land of Kamchatka" made a great impression on him.
Pushkin wrote many notes at reading " The Description of the land of Kamchatka " by Krasheninnikov - and it was last and unfinished master work of the poet.
Path breakers of Kamchatka became cossacks Vladimir Atlasov, Michael Staduhin, Ivan Kamchatyj (there is possibility that the name of peninsula made from his second name), seafarer Vitus Bering.
Such well known seafarers as James Cook, Charles Clark, Jean Frantsua Laperuz, Ivan Krusenstern, Vasily Golovin and Feodor Litke visited Kamchatka too.
Russian military boat "Diane" was directed to northern part of Pacific Ocean to make the hydrographic description of coastal waters and ocean islands and bring to Petropavlovsk the ship equipment.
At the Cape of Good Hope Englishmen has detained a vessel, which was stayed under arrest one year and twenty-five days.
Until the crew made an impudent maneuver. On September 23, 1809 "Diane" having rounded Australia and Tasmania came to Kamchatka.
Three years the crew of Russian seamen under Vasily Golovin's command was engaged in studying of Kamchatka and North American possession of Russia. Result was - the book " Remarks on Kamchatka and Russian America in 1809, 1810 and 1811 ".
After that Golovin has received the new task - to describe Kuril both Shantarskie islands and coast of Tatar strait.
And again his scientific voyage was stopped, this time by Japanese.
On Kuril Island Kunashir the group of Russian seamen together with the captain has been taken as a prisoners. Long days of the compelled inactivity have begun.
However, inactivity is not absolutely exact. The curious researcher with advantage spent that not very pleasant time.
His stories, which have published in 1816 about adventures in captivity at Japanese, have caused the big interest in Russia and abroad.
So what Kamchatka was and what it is now...
Kamchatka was attracting curious people which was worried not only about theirs well being, but more about well being of their motherland.
Good heartedness in relations, mutual benefit in affairs such seemed Kamchatka to the Russian person at all the time and nowadays as well.