Ferdinand von Richthofen

About Ferdinand von Richthofen

Who is it?: Geographer, Traveler, Scientist
Birth Day: May 05, 1833
Birth Place: Carlsruhe, Prussian Silesia, German
Alma mater: University of Breslau University of Berlin
Awards: Wollaston Medal (1892) Vega Medal (1903)
Fields: geography
Institutions: University of Bonn University of Leipzig University of Berlin
Doctoral students: Sven Hedin Alfred Philippson Arthur Berson Wilhelm Sievers

Ferdinand von Richthofen

Ferdinand von Richthofen was born on May 05, 1833 in Carlsruhe, Prussian Silesia, German, is Geographer, Traveler, Scientist. Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen was a German geographer, geologist and traveller best known for his work in China that included coining the terms “Silk Road” or “Silk Route” for the foreign trade routes of the country. He also termed the hilly red sandstone plain comprising the central and eastern regions of Sichuan province in south-western China as “Red Basin”. He travelled extensively through eleven of eighteen provinces in China conducting geographic and geological research work and later wrote the impressive geological treatise of five volumes along with a two volume atlas, which was entitled ‘China Cartographica’. It became the first serious European study on the geography of China, which continued to be the standard for several years. Throughout his career he conducted geological research in several regions including the Dolomite Alps, Japan, Philippines, Ceylon, Myanmar, Bangkok and California among others. During the later years of his life he served as a Professor of Geography in many German Universities. He standardised the procedures of chorology, the study of regions and places, and chorography, the art of mapping or describing a region. Present day geologists consider him a stratigrapher. Richthofen helped in establishing the science of geomorphology and is recognised by the geomorphologists as one of the leading pioneers of modern development of the field.
Ferdinand von Richthofen is a member of Scientists

Does Ferdinand von Richthofen Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Ferdinand von Richthofen has been died on 6 October 1905(1905-10-06) (aged 72)\nBerlin, German Empire.

🎂 Ferdinand von Richthofen - Age, Bio, Faces and Birthday

When Ferdinand von Richthofen die, Ferdinand von Richthofen was 72 years old.

Popular As Ferdinand von Richthofen
Occupation Scientists
Age 72 years old
Zodiac Sign Gemini
Born May 05, 1833 (Carlsruhe, Prussian Silesia, German)
Birthday May 05
Town/City Carlsruhe, Prussian Silesia, German
Nationality German

🌙 Zodiac

Ferdinand von Richthofen’s zodiac sign is Gemini. According to astrologers, Gemini is expressive and quick-witted, it represents two different personalities in one and you will never be sure which one you will face. They are sociable, communicative and ready for fun, with a tendency to suddenly get serious, thoughtful and restless. They are fascinated with the world itself, extremely curious, with a constant feeling that there is not enough time to experience everything they want to see.

🌙 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Ferdinand von Richthofen was born in the Year of the Snake. Those born under the Chinese Zodiac sign of the Snake are seductive, gregarious, introverted, generous, charming, good with money, analytical, insecure, jealous, slightly dangerous, smart, they rely on gut feelings, are hard-working and intelligent. Compatible with Rooster or Ox.

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He studied Medicine at the University of Breslau and at the Humboldt University of Berlin. He traveled or studied in the Alps of Tyrol and the Carpathians in Transylvania. In 1860, he joined the Eulenburg Expedition, a Prussian expedition which visited Ceylon, Japan, Taiwan, Celebes, Java, the Philippines, Siam, Burma between 1860 and 1862. No important work resulted from these travels, for much of Richthofen's records and collections was lost. China was at the time inaccessible owing to the Taiping rebellion, but Richthofen was impressed with the desirability of exploring it. From 1862 to 1868, he worked as a Geologist in the United States, discovering goldfields in California. He then followed up his interest in China by several more trips there, and also to Japan, Burma, and Java. In China he located the dried-up lake bed of Lopnur.


He was appointed professor of geology at the University of Bonn beginning in 1875, but being fully occupied with his work in China he did not take up professorial duties until 1879. He became professor of geography at the University of Leipzig in 1883, and professor of geography at the Friedrich Wilhelm University of Berlin in 1886. He occupied the latter position until his death. His lectures attracted numerous students who subsequently became eminent in geographical work, and in order to keep in touch with them he established his weekly geographical “colloquium.” Among his most famous students was Sven Hedin, the Swedish Explorer. He served as President of the German Geographical Society for many years and founded the Berlin Hydrographical Institute.


He is noted for coining the terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen" = "Silk Road(s)" or "Silk Route(s)" in 1877. He also standardized the practices of chorography and chorology.


Regarding personal names: Freiherr is a former title (translated as Baron). In Germany since 1919, it forms part of family names. The feminine forms are Freifrau and Freiin.

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