Mariehamn, Aland, Finland
Local Sightseeing, All
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Approximately 4 Hours
Delve into Ålandic history. You start the tour with a panoramic drive through Mariehamn -- capital of the province.
Out in the countryside you will visit the biggest church on the island -- the Sund Church.
From there, you're headed to the Bomardund Fortress, once mighty, but ruined in 1854.
Your glimpse of Åland history continues with a visit to Kastelholm Castle. This is where Gustav Vasa, then King of Sweden, lived for a short time in the 16th century, and where Erik XIV was held captive for several months. A guided tour of the castle uncovers a wealth of medieval mayhem, and you will hear how the castle was restored for many years by prisoners who lived in the penal colony by the castle. Amazingly, the penal colony was in place until the 1980s.
Take a short walk to admire your pretty surroundings and to reach the Jan Karlsgården Open-Air Museum, founded in the 1930s. The museum features about twenty buildings that have been moved to the site from all over Åland. The facility as a whole represents a typical Åland farm in the latter 19th century. It includes a farmhouse dwelling, a cottage for summer use, sheds, a barn, a granary on posts, a yard for the animals with stables and barns, and storage rooms. Special buildings have been added through the years.
Re-join your coach for the return journey back to the ship.
Wear sturdy, non-skid walking shoes. There are numerous stone steps at Kastelholm Castle.