Saint Helena (pronounced /ˌseɪnt həˈliːnə/ saint hə-lee-nə), named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin and a British overseas territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. The territory consists of the island of Saint Helena, and the dependencies of Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha.
The island has a history of over 500 years since it was first discovered as an uninhabited island by the Portuguese in 1502. Claiming to be Britain’s second oldest colony, this is one of the most isolated islands in the world and was for several centuries of vital strategic importance to ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. For several centuries the British have used the island as a place of exile, most notably for Napoleon Bonaparte, Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo and over 5,000 Boer prisoners.
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