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Heligoland is a small German archipelago in the North Sea. The islands were at one time Danish and later British possessions.The islands (population 1,127) are located in the Heligoland Bight (part of the German Bight) in the southeastern corner of the North Sea. They are the only German islands not in the immediate vicinity of the mainland. They lie approximately 69km by sea from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe. During the period of British possession, the lyrics to "Deutschlandlied", which became the national anthem of Germany, were written on one of the islands by August Heinrich Hoffmann in 1841, while he was vacationing there.In addition to German, the local population, who are ethnic Frisians, speak the Heligolandic dialect of the North Frisian language called Halunder. Heligoland used to be 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. "Heligoland" generally refers to the former island. 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 airport.Our Germany road trip planner allows you to schedule your trip to Helgoland, learn about its attractions, and find out about where else to go during your holiday.
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