The Falkland Islands, also called the Malvinas, are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located 300 miles (483 kilometres) from the coast of South America, 671 miles (1080 km) west of the Shag Rocks (► South Georgia), and 584 miles (940 km) north of ► Antarctica (Elephant Island). They consist of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, together with about 700 smaller islands. Stanley, on East Falkland, is the capital and largest city. The islands are a self-governing Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom, but have been the subject of a claim to sovereignty by ► Argentina since the early years of Argentina's independence from Spain in 1810.
Las Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands) constituyen un archipiélago situado al sur del Océano Atlántico, en la plataforma epicontinental llamada Mar Argentino, a una distancia mínima de la Patagonia de 480 km, a 772 km al noreste del cabo de Hornos, 1080 km al oeste de las Islas Georgias del Sur y Sandwich del Sur (Shag Rocks), y a 940 km al norte de la Isla Elefante en Antártida. Administradas por el Reino Unido a partir de la ocupación de 1833, constituyen en la actualidad uno de sus territorios de ultramar. La Argentina, por su parte, las reclama como propias y las incluye nominalmente dentro de su provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur.
Map of the Falkland Islands with shaded relief. Also in French
Topographic map of the Falkland Islands. Also in French
Simpler topographic map of the Falkland Islands. Also in French
Map of the Falkland Islands, Islas Malvinas with the Argentine names
Map of the Falkland Islands
Geological map (in English)
Geological map (in Spanish)
This section holds a short summary of the history of the area of present-day the Falkland Islands, illustrated with maps, including historical maps of former countries and empires that included present-day the Falkland Islands.
In 1764 France establishes a colony on East Falkland, followed by the United Kingdom in 1766 on West Falkland. The French settlement is transfered to Spain in 1767. Although the British withdraw in 1774, they claim sovereignty over all Falklands. The British withdraw is followed in 1811 by a Spanish withdraw. In 1820 Argentina claims sovereignty, followed by the forming of an Argentine settlement in 1826. In 1833 the United Kingdoms occupies the archipelago and in 1892 the islands become the British colony of the Falkland Islands.
In 1985, Britain separates South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands from the Falkland Islands to form a separate territory.
Notes and references
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↑Spanish is not an official language of the Falkland Islands, but Argentina claims the islands.