Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt

  • Born on September 14th 1769 in Berlin, Jägerstraße 22.
  • Died on May 6th 1859 in Berlin, Oranienburger Straße 67

Raised at Tegel Palace, the Humboldt family property, the Humboldt brothers register at the University of Frankfurt (Oder) in 1787. They move to Göttingen one year later. The two go their separate ways in 1790.

Alexander von Humboldt takes excursions to various European countries. In 1790/91, he studies at the mercantile academy in Hamburg and the Mining Academy in Freiberg. Humboldt is appointed assessor of the Prussian mining department in Berlin in 1792. He resigns from civil service not least thanks to his general interest in natural sciences.

A.von Humboldt devotes himself entirely to natural science studies, which take him on extended trips to a number of countries. In 1799, he sets out on his long research journey through Latin America, from which he does not return until 1804.
He then moves to Paris, where he meets Simon Bolivar.

Alexander von Humboldt receives his doctorate at the University of Frankfurt (Oder) in 1805. Upon his return to Berlin he becomes a member of the Academy of Sciences and is appointed lord-in-waiting to the Prussian king. He holds lectures and writes scientific papers. In 1807, he formulates recommendations for the reorganisation of the Berlin Academy. He travels to Paris on a diplomatic assignment. He returns to Berlin in 1827 and begins his lecture on the physical description of the Earth, his famous Kosmos lectures, at the Berlin University. In 1829, Humboldt sets out on his Russian Siberian research

Humboldt receives high honours upon his return. He has significant influence on the arts and sciences in Berlin. In 1848, he intervenes in the revolutionary events of that March as a mediator and pays the last honours to those killed in the fighting in the funeral procession.

Alexander von Humboldt dies on May 6th 1859 in his apartment at Oranienburger Straße 67 in Berlin.