Most interesting landmarks of Saint Helena

Saint Helena is a part of the British Overseas Territory – area under the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. This island is located in the Atlantic Ocean and is one of most remote islands in the world.
This small island has an amazing array of landmarks – well preserved historical town and fortress, unique forest with unique plants, desert with unique, giant insects. In Saint Helena was the last home for one of the most famous personalities in world history – Napoleon.
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man-made landmarks of Saint Helena.

Natural landmarks of Saint Helena

  • Diana’s Peak National Park – one of the last remnants of natural St.Helena woodlands – unique biotope, a relict of 10 million years old African tropical forest. Contains numerous endemic plant and animal species, including interesting tree species.
  • High Peak fern thicket – another remnant of relict tropical forest from the Miocene. In spite of its small size this small patch of forest contains several species of invertebrates which have not been found anywhere else.
  • Prosperous Bay Plain – north-eastern part of the island. Desert-like area, comparatively plain. This 2.25 km² large area has exceptionally high number of endemic invertebrates, which live only here – some 35 – 40 species. Here live or recently lived several giant insects – such as Saint Helena giant earwig, Saint Helena giant beetle.
Other natural landmarks
  • Heart Shaped Waterfall – approximately 100 m tall waterfall, plunging down from heart-shaped cliff.
  • Lot and Lot’s Wife – two rock stacks, phonolitic intrusions which are more resistant to erosion than the surrounding rock.

Man made landmarks of Saint Helena

Saint James Church, Saint Helena
Saint James Church / Peter Neaum, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Saint James Church – Jamestown. The oldest Anglican church in the southern hemisphere, current structure was built in 1774.
  • Saint John’s Church – Jamestown. Historical church, built in 1862.
  • Saint Paul’s Cathedral – near Jamestown. Cathedral church, built in 1850 – 1851, became cathedral in 1859.
Other man made landmarks
  • High Knoll Fort – near Jamestown. Hilltop fortification, originally built in 1799, current structure built in 1874. Most impressive and best preserved fortification on the island.
  • Jacob’s Ladder – Jamestown. Impressive staircase in the site of inclined-plane cableway, which originally was built in 1829. Staircase has 699 steps, it rises 183 m high.
  • Jamestown – British colonial town with well preserved historical architecture, located in magnificent natural setting – deep ravine. Founded in 1659. Town is stretched along narrow ravine. Many buildings are built of local volcanic rock.
  • Longwood House – residence of Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile in 1815 – 1821. Former summer residence of the Lieutenant Governor. House has been almost completely rebuilt since the times of Napoleon. Now – museum.
  • Napoleon’s Tomb – Hutt’s Gate. Site where the famous French emperor was buried in 1821 – 1840.
  • Plantation House – near Jamestown. Official residence of the Governor of Saint Helena, built in 1791 – 1792, extended in 1816. In the ground of house lives world’s oldest known tortoise Jonathan, born around 1832.
  • The Castle – Jamestown. First fortification on the island, constructed since the 1659. The oldest parts of current structure are from 1710, largely rebuilt in the 1860s. Now serves for administrative purposes.

Described landmarks of Saint Helena

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Featured: Diana’s Peak National Park

The unique Saint Helena forest, cabbage tree in the forefront
The unique Saint Helena forest, cabbage tree in the forefront / Dan Fulwiler, Wikimedia Commons / public domain

On the highest hills of Saint Helena island still are found patches of unique forest – a relict of 10 million years old African tropical forest. Most of these tree fern thickets are protected in Diana’s Peak National Park.

Recommended books

The Emperor’s Last Island: A Journey to St. Helena

In 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte arrived on St. Helena for a surreal exile that would last until his death six years later. “A resonant meditation on exile, fame, the stories we tell about ourselves (and) the bigger stories we tell about our great figures.”

Island Saint Helena: British Overseas

With a Georgian town, rugged coastlines, giant salt rocks, sandy bays, and unique wildlife, Saint Helena is a piece of paradise in the middle of Southern Atlantic. It’s not only about the destination… there’s so much to learn. Formerly, there was one way (RMS charter cruise) to commute to this isolated island to uncover one of the world’s best-kept travel secrets: the last home and mysterious death of the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte.

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