Alejandro de Humboldt National Park (2001)
Cuba

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Complex geology and varied topography have given rise to a diversity of ecosystems and species unmatched in the insular Caribbean and created one of the most biologically diverse tropical island sites on earth. Many of the underlying rocks are toxic to plants so species have had to adapt to survive in these hostile conditions. This unique process of evolution has resulted in the development of many new species and the park is one of the most important sites in the Western Hemisphere for the conservation of endemic flora. Endemism of vertebrates and invertebrates is also very high. 

(Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich) Alexander, Freiherr von Humboldt (1769-1859), was a German naturalist and explorer, best known for his many valuable contributions to the study of geophysics, meteorology, and oceanography. Humboldt was born in Berlin on September 14, 1769, and educated privately and at various universities and the mining academy at Freiberg. 

Cuba 2000. Bicentenary of Alexander Humboldt's visit in Cuba.

Although he was known as a naturalist, diplomat, astronomer, mineralogist, and anatomist, his fame also rests on his exploration of Latin America. In 1799 he sailed from Spain, stopped briefly at the Canary Islands, and finally landed at Cumaná, Venezuela. 

Humboldt explored the entire length of the Orinoco River and most of the Amazon River system.

  • Cuba 2000. Bicentenary of Alexander Humboldt's visit in Cuba. 

He also traveled in Cuba, the Magdalena River basin of Colombia, and the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, where he ascended the volcano Chimborazo to an altitude of more than 5800 m (19,000 ft) above sea level.

  • Cuba 1969. Alexander von Humboldt's 200th birth anniversary. Humboldt's portrait together with the Andean Condor [Vultur Gryphus]. This issue has three face values, 3c (with Surinam Eel, 13c (with Night Ape), and 30c (shown). 

He studied ocean currents, relative temperature according to altitude, and magnetic intensity in relation to the equator, as well as minerals and plant and animal life. He spent the final period of his five-year exploration of America in Mexico.  

Cuba 1969. Alexander von Humboldt's 200th birth anniversary. Humboldt's portrait together with the Andean Condor [Vultur Gryphus]

In 1804 he returned to Europe, and in 1829 he made a voyage of scientific exploration through the Ural and Altay Mountains of Russia. During the final years of his long life Humboldt wrote a five-volume work, Kosmos (The Cosmos, 1845-1862), in which he set forth not only his own vast scientific knowledge but also most of the accumulated scientific knowledge of geography and geology of the time. Kosmos has been called the first textbook of geophysics. Humboldt died in Berlin on May 6, 1859. The Humboldt University in Berlin is named after him. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Cuba (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Cuba-section, for further information on the individual properties. 

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Revised 03 aug 2006  
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