Article has sent Lyubomir Ivanov




Talking Points and Photos of Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov's presentations as invited lecturer at:
  • the Faculty of Geology and Geography at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski (Main Aula of Sofia University);
  • the Town Hall of the municipality of Radnevo;
  • the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University;
  • the State Commission on Information Security; and
  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in March/April 2005.


    The geographic entity of Antarctica comprises the Antarctic Continent and its adjacent islands and polar waters. Its natural physical boundary is the Antarctic Convergence or Antarctic Polar Front, a well defined 50-km wide zone encircling the earth at about 55° south latitude where cold southern waters and warmer northern waters meet.
    'Political' Antarctica is confined to the territories south of 60° south latitude proper, administered since 1961 under the Antarctic Treaty by an exclusive club of 28 nations including Bulgaria.
    Livingston Island is situated in the Southern Ocean, 110 km northwest of Cape Roquemaurel on the Antarctic Peninsula, 830 km south-southeast of Cape Horn, 1000 km south of the Falkland Islands, 1600 km southwest of South Georgia, 3000 km from the South Pole and 13600 km from Bulgaria. The Island is part of the South Shetlands archipelago, a 500-km long chain of eleven main islands and numerous smaller islets and rocks separated from South America by the Drake Passage and from the Antarctic mainland by Bransfield Strait.
    Livingston is extending 73 km from Renier Point in the east to Start Point in the west. Its width varies from 4 km at the base of Byers Peninsula, and 5 km at the neck between Hero Bay and South Bay, to 34 km between Williams Point and Botev Point. Livingston features six larger peninsulas: Byers in the west; Hurd and Rozhen in the south; Burgas in the east; Varna in the northeast; and Ioannes Paulus II in the north. Seven major bays indent the coast: New Plymouth in the west; Walker Bay, South Bay and False Bay in the south, Moon Bay in the east; and Hero Bay and Barclay Bay in the north.
    The Island is heavily glaciated. Over 90% of its land surface is covered by an ice cap, highly crevassed in many segments. Typical of the Island's glaciology are the conspicuous ash layers originating from volcanic activity on the neighbouring Deception Island. Ice cliffs, often withdrawing in the recent decades to uncover new coves, beaches and points, form most of the coastline.
    The Island's changeable, windy, humid and sunless weather is reputedly among the worst on earth. Whiteouts are common, and blizzards can occur at any time of the year. Temperatures are rather constant, rarely exceeding 3°C in summer or falling below -11°C in winter, with wind chill temperatures some 5-10°C lower on the average.


    Historically, Livingston was the first land discovered in 'political' Antarctica. Captain William Smith in the English merchant brig Williams, after being blown off course in the Drake Passage, on 19 February 1819 sighted the northeast extremity of the Island at Williams Point. The discovery of the South Shetlands group attracted American and British sealers who took hundreds of thousands of fur seals to almost exterminate the species in just few seasons. Remains of sealers huts, boats and other artefacts are still found on the Island, which possesses the greatest concentration of historical sites in Antarctica.

    Place Names

    A number of local place names go back to the early sealing era and/or commemorate sealing vessels like Huron, Williams, Samuel, Gleaner, Huntress, Charity, Hannah, Henry, John and Hero, ship captains such as the Americans Burdick, Barnard, Johnson, MacKay, Inott, Leslie, Brunow, Macy, Moores and Napier, the Britons Shirreff, M'Kean, Walker, Bond, MacGregor, Binn and Bowles, the Australian Siddons, also shipowner Byers and hydrographer Hurd. San Telmo Island is named for a Spanish 74-gun warship wrecked off Cape Shirreff in September 1819 with the loss of 644 officers, soldiers and seamen. Names like Devils Point, Hell Gates and Neck or Nothing Passage are indicative of hazardous places where ships and men were lost; Robbery Beaches was the scene of a clash over sealskins etc. The origins of few early names including Livingston and Mount Friesland remain uncertain.
    Recent place names generally reflect the national culture of scientists from various countries active in the region. Presently, 198 out of some 500 existing Livingston names are Bulgarian. (There are also 2 Bulgarian names on Alexander Island, making up a total of 200 Bulgarian names out of more than 17,000 Antarctic names.) New Bulgarian place names are approved by the Bulgarian Antarctic Place-names Commission at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and decreed by the President of Bulgaria according to the Constitution. New names are registered with the authoritative international registry of all Antarctic place names, the Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica of the international Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR).
    In connection with the Tangra 2004/05 survey, the Antarctic Place-names Commission of Bulgaria approved 60 new names of previously nameless geographical features on Livingston Island on 11 April 2005, promulgated in the SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica since 1 July 2005.

    Scientific Bases

    The permanent scientific bases of Juan Carlos I (Spain) and St. Kliment Ohridski (Bulgaria) were established in 1988 at South Bay. Research at St. Kliment Ohridski is focusing mainly on geology, biology and human medicine, glaciology, geodesy and geographic information. Other base facilities are Guillermo Mann (Chile) on Cape Shirreff, and Camara (Argentina) on Half Moon Island. Occasional field camps support research in remote areas of the Island; the Tangra 2004/05 survey in particular was carried out from Camp Academia situated in central Tangra Mountains.


    Besides the resident scientists, Livingston is attracting numerous tourists nowadays. The Antarctic shipborne tourism was initiated in 1958 in the South Shetland Islands. Since then the number of tourists in Antarctica has grown to tens of thousands annually, of whom over 95% tour the South Shetlands and the nearby Antarctic Peninsula. Hannah Point on the south coast of Livingston and Half Moon Island off the east coast are among the most popular destinations frequented by cruise ships, offering walks amidst spectacular scenery and amazing Antarctic wildlife.

    Tangra 2004/05 Survey

    The mission of the topographic survey Tangra 2004/05 was to make the first exploration of certain remote areas in the mountainous eastern Livingston Island. This was accomplished by a two-man team comprising Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov, senior research associate at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, participant in four Antarctic expeditions and chairman of the Bulgarian Antarctic Place-names Commission; and Doychin Vasilev, alpinist, film author and climber of five 8,000-meter peaks including Mount Everest. Prof. Christo Pimpirev and the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, base commander Yordan Yordanov and the crew of St. Kliment Ohridski base, the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the survey sponsored by Petrol Holding, TNT Bulgaria, Polytours, M-Tel, Bulstrad, B. Bekyarov and B. Chernev. The Uruguayan Antarctic naval ship Vanguardia, and the Russian research ship Akademik Sergey Vavilov operated by the Australian company Peregrine Shipping provided logistic support in Antarctica. The Bulgarian Posts Plc operated the post office of 1091 Tangra at Camp Academia, despatching 517 mail consignments to 26 countries.

    In the course of field work carried out from the base camp Academia and forward bivouacs at Catalunyan Saddle and Leslie Hill, L. Ivanov and D. Vasilev covered on ski or on foot some 200 km, opening new overland routes in Tangra Mountains, Bowles Ridge, Vidin Heights and the glaciers Huron, Kaliakra and Perunika. More than 70 geographical features were GPS surveyed, including the summit Mount Friesland (1700 m, third ascent). Over 20 heights were ascended for the first time, including the peaks Lyaskovets (1473 m), Miziya (604 m), Radnevo (481 m), Gleaner (531 m), Melnik (696 m), Komini (774 m), Ongal (1149 m), (Ravda 664 m) and Zograf (1011 m). A comprehensive photographic documentation was compiled for the geographical features situated in central and eastern Livingston Island, Half Moon Island and Greenwich Island.

    New Mapping

    Presently, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has commissioned the publication of a 1:100000 scale topographic map of Livingston Island promoting Bulgaria's effort and contribution to the Antarctic science. This new map is based on the 1968 South Shetland Islands map of the UK Directorate of Overseas Surveys; the 1992 SPOT satellite image image of Livingston Island and Greenwich Island made by the Institut Cartografic de Catalunya and the Departament de Geodinamica i Geofisica, Universitat de Barcelona; and the 1995/96 and 2004/05 Bulgarian topographic surveys by L. Ivanov.

    see other photographies on


    by H.E. Solomon Passy
    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria

    5 April 2005



    Prof. Lyubomir Ivanov and
    Doychin Vasilev
    Participants in the Tangra Expedition

    Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
    Let me welcome, on behalf of all of you, the participants in the Antarctic Scientific Expedition of Tangra 2004-2005 - Prof. Lyubomir Ivanov and Doychin Vasilev.
    To begin with, I would like to express my satisfaction and delight of the successful bringing to an end of their challenging mission.
    In times when other nations and great countries used to discover, explore, settle and name the New World lands; when New York, New Orleans, New Zealand and New Caledonia appeared on the geographical maps, the Bulgarians stayed aside from that process. They were just yearning for liberty in their own lands, and for a statehood of their own.
    Therefore, the heart of today's Bulgarian cannot but fill with pride in knowing that at the other end of the world, on the last discovered continent, there are places having such precious for him/her names as Levski, Tervel, Tangra, St. Cyril, St. Metodius, St. Ivan Rilski, Paisiy, Yavorov, Vaptsarov, Serdica, Tryavna and Elena.
    Since 1998, small Bulgaria is in the club of 27 states that are responsible for the destiny of Antarctica, together with countries like the USA, Russia, Great Britain and France. We participate in the ultimate, most civilized and wisest land conquest - that of a continent whose fate is important for the future of the whole mankind.
    With a modest budget, thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of our Antarcticians, of the Antarctic Institute of Prof. Hristo Pimpirev, our country is maintaining its own Antarctic base, and has its own share in the exploration of the Ice Continent.
    The Tangra Expedition 2004-2005 is yet another proof to that. The traversing in the main range of Tangra Mountain made by Lyubomir Ivanov and Doychin Vasilev is a Bulgarian contribution to the mapping of the continent, the map of which still has quite a few blank spots on it. Therefore, I would like today to publicly express my appreciation for their achievements. And I trust that many Bulgarians share my feelings and gratitude indeed.
    Dear friends Lyubo and Doychin, thank you from all our hearts! We are so proud of you!
    Yours, With regards (signed)

    Solomon Passy


    1091 TANGRA

    (Operational 25 November 2004 - 11 January 2005)

    The post office "Antarktika-Tangra 1091" of the Bulgarian Posts Plc was operated under a standard contract for a temporary post office according to the normal traditional practice and regulations of the Bulgarian Posts.

    The Tangra 1091 post office is the second and southernmost Bulgarian post office in Antarctica. (The first one was the post office at the Bulgarian base St. Kliment Ohridski established 10 Antarctic seasons earlier, also as the result of an initiative by Lyubomir Ivanov endorsed by the Bulgarian Posts.)

    Address: Camp Academia; 1091 Tangra; Livingston Island; Antarctica

    Location: Camp Academia, 62°38'41.9" South Latitude, 60°10'18.3" West Longitude, situated at 541 m above sea level on the ice of upper Huron Glacier in central Tangra Mountains, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Western Antarctica.

    The Post Office was functional during the entire duration of the Tangra 2004/05 Survey in Antarctica, from 25 November 2004 until 11 January 2005; Camp Academia itself was set up on 3-8 December 2004 and continuously occupied until 2 January 2005.

    Statistics exists for the outgoing mail: A total of 517 outgoing mail consignments (letters and postcards) distributed geographically between 30 countries as follows:
     Bulgaria  146

     Germany  144
     Belgium  54
     Chile  50
     Britain  18
     U.S.A.  15
     Spain  13
     New Zealand  11
     France  9
     Argentina  7
     Australia  7
     Austria  7
     Switzerland  7
     Falkland Islands 5
     Antarctica (Livingston Island) 3
     Afghanistan  2
     Czech Republic  2
     Italy  2
     Japan  2
     Portugal  2
     Uruguay  2
     Denmark  1
     Greece  1
     Indonesia  1
     Iraq  1
     Montserrat  1
     Slovakia  1
     Slovenia  1
     South Africa  1
     Vanuatu  1
    These 517 outgoing mail consignments were shipped as follows: 364 via Sofia; 150 via Punta Arenas; and 3 via St. Kliment Ohridski post office (to other Livingston Island addressees).

    Cancellation was not made on specific days but on any day when letters were posted in the office, so cancellations exist with various dates between 25 November 2004 and 11 January 2005.

    Lyubomir Ivanov was the Postmaster responsible for operating the post office Antarktika-Tangra 1091.

    The mail (i.e. its post stamps) was cancelled by a standard circular Bulgarian postal seal (metal issue) with an inscription "POSTE BULGARE ANTARKTIKA-TANGRA 1091" on its periphery and date/hour counter in the centre.

    Other occasional cachets applied on Tangra 1091 mail often included the triangular cachet of Camp Academia with the inscription "ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION TANGRA 2004 CAMP ACADEMIA" and/or other personal, base and ship cachets.

    Mail sent from the Tangra 1091 Post Office might also have cancellations from transit Sofia and Punta Arenas postal services, dated 14 June 2005 and 14 January 2005 respectively.

    Other details such as damages and delays:

    The weather conditions in Tangra Mountains were harsh, and the facilities at Camp Academia being fairly basic, the mail was kept and processed in conditions of considerable dampness and physical inconvenience.

    The mail shipped via Sofia suffered a five-month delay due to its slow transportation in Argentina.

    10 Years
    of Bulgarian Antarctic Cartography
    Issue Date: 28 February 2006

    The souvenir sheet of one stamp depicts a 2005 Bulgarian topographic map of Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The image is superimposed by a nautical sextant on the stamp, and extends on the sheet towards five emblematic photographs from the Island.

    The 2005 Map

    L.L. Ivanov et al, Antarctica: Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands (from English Strait to Morton Strait, with illustrations and ice-cover distribution), 1:100000 scale topographic map, Antarctic Place-names Commission of Bulgaria, Sofia, 2005.
    This first Bulgarian map of Livingston Island and Greenwich Island, commissioned by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and published in August 2005, draws from the Bulgarian topographic survey Tangra 2004/05 as well as from British mapping and Spanish satellite imagery.

    The Sextant
    The 19th Century sextant depicted on the stamp refers to the rich heritage of Livingston Island, which possesses the greatest concentration of historical sites in Antarctica and was the first land discovered south of 60 south latitude the world region administered through the Antarctic Treaty system since 1961.

    The Photographs
    The photographs of the souvenir sheet, in counter-clockwise order:
    © L.L. Ivanov

    Picture 1. St. Kliment Ohridski, the Bulgarian Antarctic base at Emona Anchorage, South Bay. The base was established in April 1988, and expanded in 1996-98 and subsequently. A post office of the Bulgarian Posts Plc has been in operation at St. Kliment Ohridski since 1994/95. The St. Ivan Rilski Chapel built in 2003 is the first Christian Orthodox edifice in Antarctica. Convenient routes lead from the base area on Bulgarian Beach to a variety of inland and coastal regions of the Island. The base was named after St. Kliment of Ohrid (840-916 AD), a prominent scholar and first Bulgarian bishop whose work in the towns of Devol and Ohrid was commissioned by Czar St. Boris I of Bulgaria.
    © L.L. Ivanov

    Picture 2. The geographical locality of Camp Academia in upper Huron Glacier, Worner Gap area. Strategically located at elevation 541 m in the northwestern foothills of Zograf Peak, the site provides convenient overland access to the main range of Tangra Mountains to the south; to Bowles Ridge, Vidin Heights, Kaliakra Glacier and Saedinenie Snowfield areas to the north; to Huron Glacier to the east; and Hurd Peninsula, Perunika Glacier and Huntress Glacier to the west. Camp Academia was occupied by the base camp of the Tangra 2004/05 Survey from 3 December 2004 until 2 January 2005. The survey work involved 200 km of trekking and sledge-hauling, as well as the third ascent of Mt. Friesland (1700 m), and the first ascent of the peaks of Lyaskovets (1473 m), Zograf (1011 m), Komini (774 m), Miziya (604 m), and Melnik (696 m). Some 150 geographical features were mapped for the first time and extensive data was gathered, including coordinates and elevation, actual sea shoreline and ice-free zones configuration, and a detailed photographic documentation of previously unexplored areas of both Livingston Island and Greenwich Island. Camp Academia has been designated as the summer post office Tangra 1091 of the Bulgarian Posts Plc since 2004.
    © L.L. Ivanov

    Picture 3. The spectacular Ongal Peak (1149 m) in Levski Ridge, Tangra Mountains.? First climbed on 21 December 2004, and named after the historic Ongal region of the First Bulgarian Kingdom (7th-11th Century AD) situated north of the Danube delta.
    © L.L. Ivanov

    Picture 4. A panoramic view from Zemen Knoll (453 m) towards Kaliakra Glacier, Moon Bay and Delchev Ridge. First visited on 25 December 2004, the knoll was named after the town of Zemen in Western Bulgaria known for its 11th Century Monastery.
    © L.L. Ivanov

    Picture 5. Atanasoff Nunatak (550 m) in the eastern extremity of Bowles Ridge, named in honour of the Bulgarian American John Vincent Atanasoff (1903-1995) who together with Clifford Berry constructed the first electronic digital computer.
    First Day Cover: The 1996 Map

    L.L. Ivanov, St. Kliment Ohridski Base, Livingston Island, 1:1000 scale topographic map, Atlantic Club of Bulgaria and Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, Sofia, 1996 (in Bulgarian).

    This first original Bulgarian topographic map of an Antarctic territory was based on a geodetic survey of the St. Kliment Ohridski area during the 1995/96 Austral Summer. An image of the 1996 map is being used on the First Day Cover, together with the inscriptions 10 Years of Bulgarian Antarctic Cartography and Livingston Island (in Bulgarian).

    Cancellation Cachet

    The cancellation cachet's design utilises a sketch of Livingston Island, the inscriptions '10 Years of Bulgarian Antarctic Cartography', '1000 Sofia' (in Bulgarian), and '28-02-2006'.

    Technical Details

    Designer: Todor Vardjiev
    Photographs: Lyubomir Ivanov
    Publisher: Bulgarian Philately and Numismatics
    Stamp size: 41x32 mm
    Souvenir Sheet size: 86x68 mm
    Release date: 28 February 2006
    Commemorative Issue Consultant: Lyubomir Ivanov
    Denomination: 1 Lev
    Liner text: Lyubomir Ivanov

    Text authorized for publication
    by the Antarctic Place-names Commission of Bulgaria