Historical Maritime Aland
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: MHM-001
Gain an in-depth historical perspective of the autonomous Finnish province of Aland by touring an authentic homestead, medieval church and maritime museum.
After departing from the pier, you will drive southeast following a picturesque route past sparkling bays and across Lemström Canal, which the occupying Russians had prisoners of war build in the 1880s to expedite shipping. Before long, you will arrive at the Pellas Museum, a shipmaster’s homestead that was constructed around the same time as the canal. It presents an authentic look at 19th-century Finnish country life, as it is furnished with period pieces and agricultural implements in the barn.
Continuing into nearby Lemland, you will visit the municipality’s namesake church, a whitewashed red granite building that dates to medieval times. During a renovation in the 1950s, 12th-century wall paintings were uncovered that depict the life of St. Nicholas, who in this part of the world is considered the patron saint of seafarers. The church’s interior also contains a beautiful painted altarpiece and a wooden Madonna from the 1320s. Outside, there is an historical graveyard.
Returning to Mariehamn, the focus turns back to the sea as you tour the “Pommern,” a four-mast windjammer built in 1903 to carry cargo between England and Australia. It makes for a wonderful introduction to the adjacent Maritime Museum, whose exhibits include ship figureheads, nautical paintings and sea chests. Afterwards, you will return to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes nearly 2-hours of moderate walking/standing and includes cobblestone and natural surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing to include a light jacket; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.