Quiet honestly I have never seen an Åland number plate elsewhere except on Åland, but there are only some 27.000 Ålanders around. All cars licenses have their own number plates even though the cars are actually registered in Finland.
Taxis additionally display the name of the driver or the name of the car, making it easy to recall the car if you have forgotten something or wish to have the same driver again.
Great crowd at the Idrottparken
For the first time in 26 years IFK Mariehamn is playing Finnish Nationwide division one in season 2004. The crowd was fantastic when IFK met Mikkeli in 7.7.2004. Although Mikkeli managed to snach victory the home crowd cheared `till the end of the game.
The Capital of Aland
"Maria`s town in autonomous Aland"
The summer town Mariehamn is the capital of autonomous Aland. Aland is a demilitarised Swedish-speaking region with a right of self-government secured through international guarentees. Also in everyday life you can quite easily see many marks of its autonomous status. Aland has it own flag, own stamp, own license plate and so on. The current population of Aland is 26200. The population of Mariehamn is 10600.
A youthful town, Mariehamn was founded in 1861 while Aland and Finland formed part of the mighty Russian Empire. Maria, consort of Czar Alexander II of Russia, gave the town her name. Nowadays Mariehamn is a small-scale city with well-developed services for visitors. A town with a varied sporting and cultural life and pleasant green oases. The town has a large number of shops in relation to its size. In summer an almost Continental atmosphere reigns in Torggatan, the foremost (and only) shopping street.
Maritime town is a very suitable name for Mariehamn. Alanders have always been seafarers, and Aland cargo shipping received an impetus after 1850, when Aland ships became larger and larger, and their voyages longer and longer. Modern shipping flourishes in Mariehamn, where many shipping companies have their offices, specializing in passenger services, carriage of goods and international tanker trade. Almost 1,5 million people a year come to Aland, most of them arriving by one of the ferries at the Western Harbour of Mariehamn.
Churches in Aland
"The Church of St. Olof, Jomala"
To get to know the history of Aland you should take your time to travel around and visit the churches. The churches have been the central point in the villages for a thousand years. There are no less than 16 churches in Aland. The church of Jomala is one of the oldest stone churches in Scandinavia - the nave and the tower being built around the 13th century when the church was rebuilt into a cruciform church in 1829-1899 and the old sanctuary was pulled down. 52 metres high tower originates in its present form in the 14th century.
"The Church of St. George, Mariehamn"
The newest stone church in Aland is the church of St. Goran (St George) in Marieham. The parish of Mariehamn was founded in 1905. The church, which was completed in the autumn of 1927, was designed by the well-known architect Lars Sonck. The church has three bells. The largest one, of 700 kg, is the bell donated in 1927 by friends of Aland in Jamtland, Sweden. The middle bell is a gift from the Trobergs. The small bell has a rather unusual history. Originally belonging to the garrison parish at Skarpans fortress in Bomarsund, it was taken as a trophy to England after the capitulation of the fortress. There it was kept in the Tower of London until it was restored to Aland in 1925.
"The Church of St. Michael, Finstrom"
Finstrom Church is situated in the valley beside the lake of Prasttrasket (Church Stream), which has given the parish its name - Finstrom. The St Michael. It has proved difficult to date the church with any certainty. The oldest parts date from the 12th century. A chapel and heavy granite vaults were added in the 13th and 14yh centuries. The five-spire Gothic tower was built in the 15th century. The murals are from two or three different periods of the 15th century. Unusually well preserved, they contribute the distinctive beauty and atmosphere of the church.
"The Church of St. Lars, Eckero"
The church in Eckero is very light because of the unusually tall and wide windows towards north and south. The present, rather long church is thought to have been erected in the end of the 1200's but at the same place some coins from the early 1200's have also been found which indicates an earlier chapel at the same place. A Madonna from Gotland and a small crucifix are both from the medieval times and so are the fragmented frescos.
"The Church of St. Catharina, Hammarland"
The church of Hammarland is situated near the old postal route and the largest burial ground in the municipality. The oldest part was built in the end of the 1200's and the arches some time in the 1300's. The tower has an unusual placement towards south. The interior is dominated by an all-covering medieval ornament and brick imitations. The altar piece was bought in 1734 for the church of Eckero.
"The Church Of St. Birgitta, Lemland"
At an archaeological excavation of the church of Lemland, it was discovered that it had a forerunner in wood. The high class frescos were painted in the 1290's. One of the most remarkable sculptures in Aland is the Madonna with the Jesus child, which was carved in oak in 1327. In the church of Lemland there are also two crucifixes from mid 1300's and other late medieval figurines.
"The Church of St. Andreas, Lumparland"
The present chapel church of Lumparland was finished 1728 after several forerunners that had been destroyed. The first time it is mentioned is 1544 and about 100 years later it is reported that "the chapel is located at a damp field, everything is unlocked, the windows are broken and the chapel has been seen full of goats"! The large altar piece is signed Victor Westerholm 1887.
"The Church of Geta"
Like the most of the churches in Aland The Geta church is situated in the beautiful surrounding. Instead of a regular bell tower, the church of Geta has a detached one. The church is not fully dated but some analysis says 1450. The altar piece that depicts the Lord's supper, the Herdsmen and the crucifixion, were donated to the church in 1685.