Heligoland (German: Helgoland) is a small German archipelago in the North Sea. Formerly Danish and 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. These islands are the only German islands not in the immediate vicinity of the mainland and are approximately three hours' sailing time from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe. In addition to German, the local population, who are ethnic Frisians, speak the Heligolandic dialect of the North Frisian language called Halunder. Heligoland was formerly called Heyligeland, or "holy land", possibly due to the island's long association with the god Forseti.