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Helgoland

Trip Planner Europe  /  Germany  /  Schleswig-Holstein  /  Helgoland
Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea.Formerly Danish and British possessions, the islands are located in the Heligoland Bight in the southeastern corner of the North Sea.These islands are the only German islands not in the immediate vicinity of the mainland and are approximately three hours' sailing time from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe.In addition to German, the local population, who are ethnic Frisians, speak the Heligolandic dialect of the North Frisian language called Halunder. Heligoland was formerly called Heyligeland, or "holy land", possibly due to the island's long association with the god Forseti.GeographyHeligoland is located 46km off the German coastline and consists of two islands: the populated triangular 1km2 main island to the east. The former is what the place name "Heligoland" is normally used to refer to. Düne is somewhat smaller at 0.7km2, lower, and surrounded by sand beaches. It is not permanently inhabited, but is today the location of Heligoland's airstrip.The main island is commonly divided into the Unterland ("Lower Land", Heligolandic: deät Deelerlun) at sea level (to the right on the photograph, where the harbour is located), the Oberland ("Upper Land", Heligolandic: deät Boperlun) consisting of the plateau visible in the photographs and the Mittelland ("Middle Land") between them on one side of the island. The Mittelland came into being in 1947 as a result of explosions detonated by the British Royal Navy (the so-called "Big Bang"; see below).
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