There is a monument in Alexandrosky Garden of Saint Petersburg near Admiralty – a camel equipped for a distant voyage is lying at the foot of its pedestal. However, many people think that the figure of another animal – sub-specie of wild horse known as Przhevalsky’s horse – would look more appropriate here. The fact is that it is the monument to Nikolay Przhevalsky, outstanding traveler and scientist, explorer of Central Asia, who discovered not only Przhevalsky’s horse, but wild camel, Tibetan blue bear and other rare mammals as well.
The graduate of General Staff Academy had an itch to travel from his youth. The list of Nikolay Przhevalsky’s merits to science is almost endless: he explored Kunlun mountain system in Northern China, the basins of lakes Lop Nor and Qinghai, the origin of Huang He, Issyk-Kul lake, as well as described the mountain ranges of Tibetan highland and gave names to them: the ranges of Columbus, Russky and Moskovky. As for the main peak of Moskovky mountain range, Przhevalsky called it Kremlin. Another mountain range received the name of Zagadochny (mysterious). The Russian Geographical Society corrected the scientist – now the range bears the name of Przhevalsky. During his last fifth expedition he headed to Russian-Chinese border through Samarkand, but drank some water from the river, and got infected with typhoid. “I have one request to you. Please, bury me on the bank of Issyk-Kul dressed in field garments,” he asked his companions. They did not forget his request. Today, the guides show to the tourists the tomb of Przhevalsky on the bank of Issyk-Kul as one of the main showplaces.