Saint Helena (/ˌseɪnt həˈliːnə/ SAYNT-hə-LEE-nə) is a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi) west of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres (10 by 5 mi) and has a population of 4,255 (2008 census). It was named after Saint Helena of Constantinople.
The island was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. One of the most remote islands in the world, it was for centuries an important stopover for ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. Napoleon was imprisoned there in exile by the British, as were Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo (for leading a Zulu army against British rule) and more than 5,000 Boers taken prisoner during the Second Boer War.
Between 1791 and 1833, Saint Helena became the site of a series of experiments in conservation, reforestation and attempts to boost rainfall artificially. This environmental intervention was closely linked to the conceptualisation of the processes of environmental change and helped establish the roots of environmentalism.
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean consisting of the island of Saint Helena, Ascension Island and the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha. It was known as Saint Helena and Dependencies until 1 September 2009, when a new constitution came into force giving the three islands equal status within the territory.
Administratively, the territory is divided into the same three parts as the territory's geography, namely Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Each is governed by a council. The Governor of the territory presides over the Saint Helena Legislative Council, while he or she is represented by an Administrator on Ascension Island and an Administrator on Tristan da Cunha that preside over these two areas' Island Councils. See Constitution section below.
The island of St Helena is then further divided into eight districts.
Of volcanic origin, the islands of Saint Helena, Ascension Island, and Tristan da Cunha were all formerly separate colonies of the English crown, though separately discovered by several Portuguese explorers between 1502 and 1504.
Saint Helena (sometimes St. Helen of Sköfde; Swedish: Elin av Skövde) was a woman of high birth, who lived in the 12th century, and was considered to be the patron saint of Skövde, Sweden. Saint Helena decorates the Skövde city arm and is the patron saint of the church in Ränneslöv.
She was born around 1101. She was of noble family and is generally believed to have been the daughter of the Jarl Guthorm. In adult life, she married and bore children. After the death of her husband, she lived on his farm at Våmb in Skara. She also gave her belongings to the poor and undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. She returned and settled on the farm where she dedicated herself to spiritual and kind actions. According to legend, it is Helena who built Våmbs Church (Våmbs kyrka) in the Skara diocese at the farm in Våmb. The church in Skövde, now called St. Helena Church (Sankta Helena kyrka), was also largely built as a result of generous donations from Helena.
Helena had a daughter who had married, and was beaten and abused by her husband. After a time, the servants at Helena's farm united and killed the husband. His relatives blamed Helena for the murder, even though she was on a pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem at the time. To avenge his death they killed Helena at Götene while she was on her way to church in 1160.