Mariehamn

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Mariehamn
Town
Mariehamns stad
The museum ship Pommern is anchored in the western of Mariehamn's two harbours, Västerhamn.
The museum ship Pommern is anchored in the western of Mariehamn's two harbours, Västerhamn.
Coat of arms of Mariehamn
Coat of arms
Location of Mariehamn in Finland
Location of Mariehamn in Finland
Mariehamn is located in Åland
Mariehamn
Mariehamn
Location in Åland
Coordinates: 60°06′N 019°56′E / 60.100°N 19.933°E / 60.100; 19.933Coordinates: 60°06′N 019°56′E / 60.100°N 19.933°E / 60.100; 19.933
Country Finland
Region Åland
Sub-region Mariehamn
Charter 1861
Government
 • Stadsdirektör Edgar Vickström
Area (2011-01-01)[1]
 • Total 20.75 km2 (8.01 sq mi)
 • Land 11.79 km2 (4.55 sq mi)
 • Water 8.96 km2 (3.46 sq mi)
Area rank 335th largest in Finland
Population (2014-01-31)[2]
 • Total 11,286
 • Rank 92nd largest in Finland
 • Density 957.25/km2 (2,479.3/sq mi)
Population by native language[3]
 • Swedish 87.7% (official)
 • Finnish 5.8%
 • Others 6.5%
Population by age[4]
 • 0 to 14 14.8%
 • 15 to 64 67.8%
 • 65 or older 17.4%
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Municipal tax rate[5] 16.5%
Website www.mariehamn.ax
Mariehamn.jpg

Mariehamn (Finnish: Maarianhamina) is the capital of Åland, an autonomous territory under Finnish sovereignty. Mariehamn is the seat of the Government and Parliament of Åland, and 40% of the population of Åland live in the city. Like all of Åland, Mariehamn is unilingually Swedish-speaking and around 88% of the inhabitants speak it as their native language.[3]

History[edit]

Södragatan, one of the oldest streets of Mariehamn.

The town was named after Maria Alexandrovna, the Empress consort of Alexander II of Russia. Mariehamn was founded in 1861, around the village of Övernäs, in what was at the time part of the municipality of Jomala. The city has since expanded and incorporated more of Jomala territory. Mariehamn was built according to a very regular scheme which is well-preserved. One of the oldest streets is Södragatan where many wooden houses dating from the 19th century can be seen.

Harbours[edit]

The city is located on a peninsula. It has two important harbours, one located on the western shore and one on the eastern shore, which are ice-free for nearly the whole year, and have no tides.[6] The Western Harbour is an important international harbour with daily traffic to Sweden, Estonia and mainland Finland. A powerful incentive for Baltic ferries to stop at Mariehamn is that, with respect to indirect taxation, Åland is not part of the EU customs zone and so duty-free goods can be sold aboard. Mariehamn Airport is located in the neighbouring municipality of Jomala, some 3 kilometres (2 mi) north-west of Mariehamn city centre. Åland and Mariehamn have a reputable heritage in shipping. The Flying P-Liner Pommern museum ship is anchored in the Western Harbour. The Eastern Harbour features one of the largest marinas in Scandinavia. The famous Dutch steamer Jan Nieveen (now called F.P. von Knorring, after Åland teacher and vicar Frans Peter von Knorring) can also be found here.

Culture[edit]

Municipal library

The city is an important centre for Åland media; both of the local newspapers (Ålandstidningen and Nya Åland), several radio stations and the local TV channels (TV Åland and Åland24) operate out of the city. The islanders are traditionally fond of reading, and had public libraries before 1920. A printing works was established in the town in 1891.[6] The municipal library, which was built in 1989, is one of the most interessting modern buildings.

Architecture[edit]

Saint George's church

Mariehamn features several buildings drawn by Finnish architect Lars Sonck, who moved to Åland as a child. Buildings drawn by him include the church of Mariehamn (1927), the main building of the Åland Maritime College (1927) and the town hall (1939). Hilda Hongell also designed several buildings, although only a few are still standing.

Demographics[edit]

A chart on population growth.

Year
Population
1987
9,966
1990
10,263
1997
10,408
2000
10,488
2002
10,632
2004
10,712
2006
10,824
2008
11,005
2009
11,123
2010
11,190
2011
11,262
2012
11,345
2013 (May)
11,446

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — sister cities[edit]

Mariehamn is twinned with:[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Area by municipality as of 1 January 2011" (PDF) (in Finnish and Swedish). Land Survey of Finland. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "VÄESTÖTIETOJÄRJESTELMÄ REKISTERITILANNE 31.1.2014" (in Finnish and Swedish). Population Register Center of Finland. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Population according to language and the number of foreigners and land area km2 by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 29 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "Population according to age and gender by area as of 31 December 2008". Statistics Finland's PX-Web databases. Statistics Finland. Retrieved 28 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "List of municipal and parish tax rates in 2011". Tax Administration of Finland. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Prothero, G.W. (1920). The Åland Islands. Great Britain. Foreign Office. Historical Section. p. 5. 
  7. ^ Mariehamns stads vänorter. Accessed May 27, 2008

External links[edit]