Heligoland, a small island in the North Sea some 35 miles from the mouth of the river Elbe.
It is about a mile long and a third of a mile broad. The greater part of the houses are on a rock 200 feet high. In the bathing-season it is visited by large numbers of tourists. Bathing takes place from Sandy Island or Diine, a sandbank about a mile distant. A great deal of fishing is carried on.
Heligoland was taken from the Danes in 1807, and ceded to England by the treaty of 1814. By an agreement with Germany in 1890 it was given up to the Empire in exchange for certain concessions in East Africa. The language spoken by the inhabitants is German, The fishermen are Frisians. Many sailors for the British navy used to be recruited from the island. Heligoland means "Holy Land;" it was sacred to the goddess Hertha, but the population was converted by St. Willibrod in the 7th century.