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Saint Helena, a British Overseas Territory, is a remote island located in the South Atlantic Ocean about 1,950 km west of the south-western coast of Africa. The nearest land is Ascension Island, the site of a US Air Force auxiliary airfield, which is 1,125 km to the north-west. The most remote inhabited island in the world, Tristan da Cunha, is located 2,100 km to the south. Uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1502, Saint Helena was garrisoned by the British during the 17th century, and for a long time served as an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. its importance as a port of call declined after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869.

Saint Helena's most famous resident was Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled there by the British from 1815 until his death in 1821. You can still visit his flower-laden gravesite and residence there. Today, the island is home to some 4,000 residents.

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Jamestown, Saint Helena Island. Jacob’s ladder is visible on the lower part of the image.  Photo credit

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© Amusing Planet, 2014.





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