Åland: climate, arrival
Since the archipelago is located in the middle of the Baltic Sea, the climate here is rather moderate compared to the Swedish and Finnish mainland. The reason for this is that the Baltic Sea warms the cold northeast winds in winter.
However, it should not be forgotten that the islands are located at a north latitude of about 60 ° and therefore the summers are relatively short and the days are short in winter. The annual rainfall averages 540 mm per year and is therefore less than on the Swedish and Finnish mainland and also lower than in Germany.
Åland is about halfway between Stockholm and Helsinki. From Sweden the shortest route (two hours) is from Grisslehamn or Kapellskär outside of Norrtälje to Åland. There are also a number of options from Stockholm. From Finland you can take the ferries from Turku (Åbo), Naantali and Helsinki to Åland. The shortest route is from Turku, which takes around 5 hours.
Åland is divided into 16 municipalities, which are located on the main island as well as across the various islands in the archipelago and often only have a few hundred residents.
The municipality with the largest number of residents after the capital is Jomala with around 3,500 residents. Jomala is located in the south of the main island. With around 130 residents, Sottunga is not only the smallest municipality in Åland but also in all of Finland.
Åland Art Museum
The art museum (Konstmuseum) in the capital Mariehamn was founded in 1963. It has been in the same building as the Åland Museum since 1981 . The plans for the building came from the Finnish architect Erik Helmer Stenros (born 1929)
. Both ancient and contemporary art are exhibited in the museum. There are around 1,000 works related to Åland. The museum is also intended to be a link between Åland art and the Nordic art scene.
Tel.: 00358 – (0) 18 – 25426
E-Mail: konstinfo [at] regeringen.ax
The Åland Museum is an art history museum and was founded in 1934. Since 1981 it has been in the same building as Åland Art Museum . The plans for the building came from the Finnish architect Erik Helmer Stenros (born 1929). Here, visitors will find exhibits and information on archeology, ethnology and the development of the local architecture and nature.
Ålands museum, PB 1060, AX-22111 Mariehamn
Tel.: 00358 – (0) 18 – 25000
Dånö local history museum
The Dånö local history museum (Dånö hembygdsmuseum) is located in a pilot and fisherman’s cottage from the 19th century. The museum is located in Dånö in Geta municipality in the north of the main island – about 40 km from Mariehamn.
In this museum you can experience how people used to live in a pilot and fisherman’s cottage. The visitor will find parts of the inventory of the previous pilot’s kate here, but the exhibition has expanded to include household items and tools over the years.
An old figurehead and a cupboard from the 17th century are particularly worth seeing.
After the last occupant of this house died in 1927, the house was put up for auction. Two descendants from Dånö bought the house to turn it into a local museum.
Around 40 years later, the museum was operated privately until the newly founded Dånö Museum Association took over the museum in 1968.
From mid-June to mid-August: Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Institute The Emigrant Institute in Mariehamn, the capital of the island state, was established by the Åland Islands Emigrant Institute Society. The aim of the institute is to collect and catalog information related to emigration from Åland and to establish a connection with emigrants from Åland around the world.
Norra Esplanadgatan 5,
Fire Brigade Museum
The Åland Fire Brigade Museum is located in the municipality of Hammarland in the west of the main island.
The visitor will find a number of exhibits from the history of the island
nation’s fire brigade www.visitaland.com/brandkarsmuseum
The Föglö Museum is located in Degerby in the municipality of Föglö.
The small museum is located in a warehouse from 1826. Since 1982 there have been various exhibitions on the life of people in the past and now here on Föglö.
The museum is only open during the summer months.
The museum (Fotografiska Museum) was opened in 2001 in Kastelholm in the municipality of Sund and in 2008 moved to its current location in Tosarby in the same municipality.
The museum is divided into four subject areas. In the first, cameras, lamps, projectors, films and many other exhibits are on display. In the second TV cameras, video cameras.
Local history museum in Kökar
The local history museum is located in an old school building from 1913 and was opened in 1988. It is located in Österbygge-Hellsö in the municipality of Kökar – in the southeast of the archipelago. With the help of photos and film recordings, the museum depicts the life of the local people from the 19th century to 1988. The organ from St. Anna’s Church, which was used here from 1912 to 1992, is now also located here.
The first 20,111 pilot opened Museum is Dergerby in the municipality Föglö. The visitor will find numerous exhibits from the work and life of the local pilots in the 19th century.
Museum courtyard Hermas
The museum courtyard is located on the small island of Enklinge in the municipality of Kumlinge. In addition to Enklinge, the approx. 400 residents of Kumlinge still live on the three islands of Kumlinge, Seglinge and Björkö. Today’s Hermas farm is an archipelago farm that dates back to the 15th century. The first farmer on the farm was the “accountant” Per Olson, who was first mentioned in 1537 in a tax book. The farm was inhabited and cultivated until 1973. Then it became a museum
The museum courtyard consists of the manor house, servants’ house, various sheds, granaries, stables, and a mill. In the well-preserved interior of the building, visitors will find a remarkable collection of old everyday objects from the farm – such as kitchen utensils, tools, clothing, agricultural implements and fishing equipment. This is how people used to live in the archipelago.
Tel.: 00358 – (0) 457 – 5301442
Tel.: 00358 – (0) 40 – 5595562
Museum ship Pommern
The sailing ship “Pommern” is a four-masted barque and is now a museum ship in the port of Mariehamn. The sailor was launched in 1903 under the name “Mneme”. At that time it was built in Glasgow (Scotland) for the Hamburg shipping company B. Wencke Söhne.
In 1906 the sailor was sold to the shipping company F. Laeisz and was given its current name “Pommern”. In 1923 the Finnish shipowner Gustaf Erikson bought the ship. Since then her home port has been Mariehamn. The sailor has been part of the city’s maritime museum since 2012.
The sailor has a sail area of 3,240 m² – with a length of 106.5 m, a width of 13.2 m and a draft of 6.8 m
Other well-preserved four-masted barques are the “Passat” in Travemünde, the “Peking” in New York and the “Viking” in Gothenburg.
The Postal Museum is located in the former Storby post and customs post in the village of Storby in the west of Eckerö municipality. The imposing building was erected during the time of Russian rule over Finland in 1828 according to plans by the German-Finnish Carl Ludwig Engel (1778-1840).
From the Middle Ages to 1920, mail was transported between the town of Grisslehamn on the east coast of Sweden and the island of Eckerö with the help of rowing boats.
The distance is around 40 km and is quite dangerous to navigate for rowing boats. It is therefore not surprising that a total of 200 people were killed. The most momentous accident happened in 1711 when 17 men were killed in a post-race race. As a reminder, the tradition of mail rowing is maintained with a competition on every second Saturday in June. The museum commemorates this event in its exhibition.
The archipelago museum (Skärgårdsmuseet) in Lappo in the municipality of Brändö – located in the east of the archipelago – has one of the most extensive collections of rural wooden boats in the Baltic Sea region. These include both rowing and sailing boats.
The visitor can find dinghies here,
Museum This museum is located in the municipality of Vardö, which is in the east of the main island. The museum is in a 19th century elementary school. housed
Museum The Maritime Museum is located in Mariehamn in Åland. The museum has numerous exhibits from the maritime history of Åland from the 18th century to the present day. The beginnings of the collection go back to the captain Carl Holmquist in 1920. The museum opened its doors in 1954. In 2012 a modern extension was added. In addition, the museum took over the museum ship “Pommern”.
September to May from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
June to August from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tel.: 00358 (0) 18-19930
E-mail: info @ sjofartsmuseum.ax
Skeppargard Pellas Museum
This small museum is located in Granboda in the municipality of Lemland.
The building was erected in 1884. After a fire in the farmhouse on Christmas Eve 2005, the house could only be reopened in summer 2008. Nowadays the house presents itself as a museum of the past. Watercolors, letters and books by the four-masted barque Duchess Cecilie are on display in the attic of the main building. Also worth seeing is the local picture by Stig Bergenwall “Announcement of Duchess Cecilie’s last trip”. In the vicinity of the building the visitor will find agricultural implements and old tools. There is also a windmill here.
The museum is open from mid-June to mid-August at
Settlements The most famous Stone Age settlements in Northern Europe can be found in Jettböle in the municipality of Jomala. The Stone Age in Europe is divided into the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic. It begins with the appearance of humans and ended around the year 2,200 BC. At the Stone Age settlements in Jettböle, indications were found that allow the conclusion that the Ålanders of the Stone Age were partly cannibals. However, this thesis is also contradicted
Special buildings and structures
This castle complex was built in the course of the late 14th century in the southwest of today’s municipality of Sund.
The fortress at that time was first mentioned historically in 1388.
It is worth mentioning that the castle was conquered in 1507 by the Danish naval leader Søren Norby (1470-1530).
The castle was the seat of the royal feudal holders and estate managers. During the reign of Gustav Vasa (1496-1560) the castle was converted into a hunting lodge. In the spring of 1556, the king also spent a few months here with his family. In the same year Johann, the son of Gustav Vasa, became Duke of Finland.
Despite the fact that Duke Johann lived here for a while in 1557, 1559 and 1561, he kept his brother Erik XIV (1533-1577) and his wife Karin Månsdotter (1550-1612) prisoner here during the autumn of 1571.
By 1634, despite a fire in 1619, the castle complex had developed into an administrative center of Åland. During this time, the castle was restored several times and expanded into a representative building. But after that it became less and less important and was almost completely destroyed by another fire in 1745. However, the north wing was largely spared from the fire and then served as a granary. But in the late 19th In the 19th century, the castle began to be rebuilt, and the last extensive renovation took place in the 1990s.
Nowadays the castle serves as a museum and can be visited.
May 3rd to 31st daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
June to August daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
July daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
1st to 15th September daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Ruins These ruins are the remains of an ancient fortress. In 1830 work began on the Bomarsund fortress, which was to become a “Gibraltar of the North”. However, in 1854 she was destroyed by an Anglo-French fleet.
.Bomarsund is located on the southeastern tip of Sund municipality on the main island of Åland.
The islands are richly blessed with windmills.
A special feature that is really worth seeing is this replica of the god Mercury, who stands in the ice age rock formations of Källskär – a small island south of the municipality of Kökar.
The original was created in 1580 by the Italian Giovanni Bologna (1529-1608). It represents the sea god Mercury in the form of a 1.80 m high bronze statue. The original is in the Louvre in Paris.
The churches on the islands used to play a very important role for the then still Catholic people in the localities and communities. Of course you won’t find any cathedrals or karhedrals here, but rather small churches made of stone or wood. But they tell a lot about the history and life of the Åland people – who were baptized and confirmed in the churches, married here and were buried here.
In addition to the church in Mariehamn, which was only consecrated in 1920, Åland has 15 other older churches, the oldest dating back to the 13th century. Of the churches, 12 are medieval stone churches and three wooden churches are more recent.
This church is in the parish of Eckerö. As can be seen in the picture, the nave has a strikingly dark stilt roof. The tower of the church is crowned by an equally dark pyramid. The current nave is probably from the end of the 13th century. A Gotland Madonna and a cross date from the Middle Ages – as do the wall paintings inside the church.
This church, probably built at the end of the 13th century, is the best preserved medieval building in Finland. The church is particularly interesting for its architecture, its wall paintings and the two sculptures from the 12th century. The present church is mostly from the 15th century. The church is located in Finström parish on the main island.
The Hammarlands Church stands out due to its striking tower on the south side of the church. The church was built towards the end of the 13th century. In the interior of the church, the floating domed vaults, which are unusual in this region, are particularly striking.
The church is located in the municipality of Hammarland in the west of the main island.
This church in the Jamola parish on the main island was likely a nobleman’s private church. Its origins go back to around 1280, making it the oldest stone church in Åland.
The local wall paintings, which depict the story of the prodigal son, are worth seeing.
Unfortunately, in the 19th Partly rebuilt in the 19th century
The Lemlands Kyrka (Lemland Church) in the municipality of Lemland on the main island was built at the end of the 13th century. It has very well-preserved early Gothic wall paintings, which depict, among other things, the legend of St. Nicholas.
The Lemlands Madonna from around 1320 is a special attraction. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful Madonnas in all of Northern Europe.
This church (Lumparlands Church) in Lumparland Municipality is the oldest wooden church in Åland. Lumparland is located in the southeast of the main island
Church of St. Anna
This church is located in Hamnö in the municipality of Kökar. Today’s church was consecrated in 1784 and was built on the remains of an old monastery church. In 1992 the old organ from 1912 was replaced, which can now be seen in the local museum. Particularly noteworthy are the finds of around 40 medieval graves with around 100 skeletons under the pulpit and the church tower as well as further away from the church.
Church in Kumlinge
The church in the parish of Kumlinge consists of gray rock and dates from the beginning of the 16th century.
This medieval church dates from the end of the 13th century. It is located in the municipality of Föglö. The church was restored in 1967. During the work, an old crucifix was found that contained a scroll of parchment with the inscription Mary Magdalene. In addition, old bones were found. The church is about 3 km from the ferry terminal in Degerby.
This church in Sud municipality on the main island is the largest church in Åland. It was probably built in the middle of the 13th century. It should be noted that it is located in the middle of a beautiful landscape near Kastelholm Castle. The church has remarkable wall paintings and sculptures from the 13th century.
These red Rapakiwi granite cliffs can be found in the municipalities of Eckerö and Finström on the main island.
Rapakiwi is the name given to granite rock with sprinkles of feldspar up to several centimeters in size and a relatively fine-grained base of quartz and various types of feldspar.
The name comes from the Finnish word “rapakivi”, which means “crumbling stone” or “bad stone”.
The Åland Islands are located at a north latitude of rounded 60 ° and thus only 7.5 ° from the tropic.
From a latitude of about 57 °, the sun only sets so briefly in midsummer that it remains relatively light even at night – with light stripes in the sky.
Also famous are the White Nights of St. Petersburg in Russia, which is rounded on the same width as Mariehamn. The Russian writer Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) wrote a famous short novel entitled White Nights, which is set in St. Petersburg. The novel was filmed in the 1957 Italian-French feature film “White Nights”.
The port of Mariehamn is divided into the Westhafen and the Osthafen, which are a little less than 1.5 km apart.
In the Westhafen the large ferries from Sweden and Finland dock. About 750 m north of this is the marina, which is also the club harbor of the “Alandska Segel Sallskapet (ASS)”.
In this club complex there is a restaurant and a sauna. In the marina you lie on floating piers in front of a stern buoy. There is also a gas station in the port. You can walk to the center of town in about 5 minutes.
The Osthafen has one of the largest yacht harbors in Europe – with floating jetties and stern buoys for pleasure boats.
There is a small restaurant and a boat filling station in the harbor. The port is closer to the city center than the Westhafen.
The harbor is particularly popular with sailors who want to continue north-east through the Lumparn, for example to Bomarsund or Kastelholm. On the way there, the Lemström Canal must be crossed with a swing bridge, the opening times of which should be observed before starting the journey.