Åland, also called the Åland Islands, is an archipelago lying off the southwestern corner of Finland and stretching across the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia from the Baltic Sea. There is one large island, Fasta Åland, about 80 smaller inhabited islands, and more than 6000 islets and skerries. The great majority of the residents (more than 90%) are Swedish by language and heritage. In fact, the islands were part of Sweden until 1809, when Sweden was forced to cede them to the Russian Empire along with Finland. When Finland became independent from Russia in 1917, the Ålanders petitioned to secede from Finland. Finland declined, and ultimately the Åland question was referred to the League of Nations. In 1921 the League decided that Åland should remain under Finnish sovereignty, but that the islands should be autonomous, self-governing, and demilitarized. Åland has its own parliament and national flag, issues its own postage stamps, and has a distinct ISO country code (ALA) and Internet top-level domain (.ax). However, from the Finnish perspective Åland is an autonomous province of Finland governed under international treaties by a special Act of Autonomy. The Finnish name for Åland is Ahvenanmaa. Lighthouses in Åland, as in the rest of Finland, are maintained by the Finnish Maritime Administration (Merenkulkulaitos). The Finnish word for a lighthouse is majakka (plural majakat); the Swedish word is fyr (plural fyren). Since Swedish is the language of the islands, the names of the lighthouses are generally in that language.
Four Maxicards from Aland Islands in Finland, Issued 6th June 2008 are featured here depicting the lighthouses of Marhallan, Gustaf Dalen, Kokarsoren and Bogskar. These cards are courtesy my Dear friend Merja.