Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Aland



Liisa was so kind and, among all the covers she has sent me, she found energy to write a postcard more. And guess what, it's my first written and stamped from Aland. She even used a matching stamp! I'm so happy :)
Aland, officialy the Aland Islands,  form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea, situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous and demilitarised Swedish-speaking region of Finalnd. The islands collectively constitute the smallest region of Finland, with only 0.49% of its land area, and 0.50% of its population.
The autonomous status of the islands was affirmed by a decision made by the League of Nations in 1921 following the Aland crisis. By law, Åland is politically neutral and entirely demilitarised. The islands were granted extensive autonomy by the Parliament of Finalnd in the Act on the Autonomy of Åland of 1920.  Åland's original name was Germanic "Ahvaland" which means "Land of Water". In Swedish, the name eventually developed  into Åland, literally "river land"- even though rivers are not a prominent feature of Åland's geography.


The Åland archipelago consists of nearly 300 habitable islands. 80 of those are inhabited by app. 30,000 people. The largest and the capital town is Mariehamn, with population of 11,000. The official motto of Aland, that I like quiet a lot, is "The Islands of Peace". Thanks, again, Liisa!

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