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About Åland  

Population 24 000. The Aland Islands differ strikingly from the Finnish mainland not only as regards scenery but also culture and folk traditions. Among the monuments of the past are the Viking graves of the natives' forefathers and the oldest churches in Finland, dating back to the 1100s. The Alanders take grate pride in their ancient seafaring heritage. The Aland Islands, consisting of over 6500 islands and skerries, have been compared to a bridge between Finland and Sweden.

The province boasts of no less than sixteen municipalities, but Mariehamn, the capital, is the only town. The 24 000 inhabitants are almost without exception Swedish speaking. Worth mentioning is the autonomous state enjoyed by the Alanders. Mariehamn is a somewhat young town founded in 1861 by Czar Alexander II. Including its suburbs, Mariehamn has a population of 11 000.