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Sven Hedin (1865–1952) was a Swedish explorer and writer, famous for his journeys through Central Asia including China from 1893 to 1935. His discoveries filled in some of the last blank spots on the world map.


The European Age of Discovery is usually held to have ended with the 17th century, as most of the world's oceans and coastlines had been charted. However, in the late 19th century, scholars of the Western world had yet to chart the inland of some continents, including Asia.

Hedin famously found the sources of the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers, the periodic lake Lop Nur, as well as many stretches of the Great Wall of China.

While Sven Hedin's voyages were celebrated and provided knowledges of Asian cultures, his political involvements were more controversial. In the arms race before World War I, the militarist King Gustav V of Sweden tried to steal power from parliament, making use of Hedin's fame and eloquence. He also lent his support to the German Empire as well as Nazi Germany: though he turned critical in response to the Holocaust.


Map of Voyages of Sven Hedin

Other places[edit]

  • 10 Sven Hedin's home, Norr Mälarstrand 66, Kungsholmen, Stockholm. Sven Hedin's apartment. Not open to the public.
  • 11 Sven Hedin Glacier. Sven Hedin Glacier (Q1343404) on Wikidata Sven Hedin Glacier on Wikipedia

See also[edit]

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