- Continental region – An island in the South Atlantic Ocean, about midway between South America and Africa
- Currency symbol of Saint Helena –Pound sterling, Saint Helena pound (£) (SHP)
- Capital City –Jamestown
- Official languages –The official language of Saint Helena is English
- Population –6,077
- Country dialling code – (+290)
- Official website – Saint Helena
- Top 3 biggest industries – Electricity Agriculture Tourism
- Google Maps link –Saint Helena
- Where is it? Saint Helena is an island in the South Atlantic Ocean, about midway between South America and Africa
Saint Helena In Pictures
Saint Helena History
- How did the country get its first name? Most historical accounts state that the island was sighted on 21 May 1502 by Galician navigator João da Nova sailing in the service of Portugal, and that he named it Santa Helena after Helena of Constantinople.
- When and by whom the country was first discovered? The island was allegedly uninhabited when it was discovered in May 1502 by João da Nova, a Spanish navigator in the service of Portugal. The exact date of his visit traditionally has been given as May 21, which in the Eastern Orthodox Church is the feast day of St. Helena, Roman empress and mother of the emperor Constantine.
- Who were the first Inhabitants? The island’s first known permanent resident was a Portuguese renegade, Fernando Lopez, who had been mutilated on being returned to the Portuguese, by order of Albuquerque, the Governor of Goa.
- When it was first recognized as a country? The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Saint Helena and the other Crown colonies as British Dependent Territories.
- Who was the first leader of the country? The first governor, Captain John Dutton, was the first leader who arrived in 1659, making Saint Helena one of Britain’s earliest colonies outside North America and the Caribbean.
Five Significant Events
- 1502 Discovered by Portuguese: The Island is uninhabited when it is first discovered by Portuguese mariners. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/supernumberworldmaritimeday-these-explorers-once-ruled-the-oceans/ss-BB19nnC0)
- 1834 Saint Helena a British Colony: St Helena becomes a British crown colony. (https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Helena,_Ascension_and_Tristan_da_Cunha)
- 1600s Use of Saint Helena by the British East India Company: they uses the island as a way station for trading ships sailing home from the Orient and is granted a charter to run the island, installing its own governor in 1659. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14123532)
- 2002 1981 law depriving Saints of full citizenship: Britain repeals a 1981 law depriving Saints of full citizenship, prompting a third of its inhabitants to leave the island to live or work elsewhere.(https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14123532)
- 1961 Volcanic Eruption: A volcanic eruption forces the evacuation of all the island’s inhabitants to the UK with the majority opting to return in 1963. (https://tristandc.com/history1961-1963.php)
Five Places to Visit in Saint Helena
- Museum of Saint Helena: The Museum of Saint Helena is a museum on the island of Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. The museum is managed by the Saint Helena Heritage Society.(http://www.museumofsainthelena.org/about-museum-of-st-helena/)
- Jacob’s Ladder: The Jacob’s Ladder is a Grade I- listed staircase leading from Jamestown, Saint Helena, up the side of Ladder Hill to Ladder Hill Fort. The ladder is all that remains of a cable railway which was built there in the early 1800s.(http://sainthelenaisland.info/jacobsladder.htm)
- Longwood House: Longwood House is situated in the district of Longwood, some 6 km from Jamestown and has twice been voted one of the Seven Wonders of St Helena. It was the residence of Napoleon, during most of his exile on St Helena, arriving on 10th December 1815 and dying here on 5th May 1821. (https://www.napoleonsthelena.com/en/longwood-house/)
- Napoleon’s tomb: Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on St. Helena on 5th May 1821. In his will Napoleon asked to be buried on the banks of the Seine, but the British Governor, Hudson Lowe, insisted he should be buried on St. Helena, in the Valley of the Willows (now Sane Valley). (https://sthelenaisland.info/napoleons-tomb/)
- Plantation House: Plantation House is the official residence of the Governor of Saint Helena. The Governor is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in the United Kingdom’s overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. (https://ramblingwombat.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/plantation-house-the-governor- and-jonathan/)