Åland (Swedish Öland ) – a Swedish island in the Baltic Sea, an area of 1342 km², the second largest island in Sweden after Gotland and the smallest of the historic provinces of Sweden. The island is also often referred to as “the land of windmills.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the island had about 3700 inhabitants, in 1974, 21200; now the population of the island is about 24600 people, but in the summer up to 500 thousand tourists come to the island.
With the main territory of Sweden is connected to the bridge built in 1972 over the Strait of Kalmarsund. Not far from the island of June 1, 1676 took place Elandskoye battle between the Swedish and the combined Danish-Dutch fleet.
Sweden’s historic provinces are not administrative or political, but historical and cultural units. Åland is part of Kalmar län and is divided into two municipalities, Borgholm and Mörbylånga. Eland has been a part of Kalmar county since 1634, with one small break – between 1819 and 1826 it was considered a separate county of Eland.
Åland is Sweden’s second largest island. Historically it was divided into one town and five hundreds (an ancient administrative unit in Northern Europe). Today there are six hundreds: Algutsrum, Gräsgård, Möckleby, Runsten, Slättbo and Åkerbo. Settlements (towns and villages) on the island are 16, the largest of them is Ferjestaden (Färjestaden) – 5 018 people.
The stag on the coat of arms symbolizes Åland’s status as a royal hunting ground, for which reason it is crowned.
Åland received its coat of arms in 1560, but until the 1940s, due to confusion caused by similar names, it was in fact shared with the Åland Islands, today an autonomous province of Finland. In the twentieth century, the coat of arms of Åland was changed to distinguish it from the coat of arms of the Åland Islands, which remained unchanged. 
Archaeological evidence shows that the island of Åland was inhabited around 8000 B.C., excavations of layers dating back to the Paleolithic Age show the presence of hunter-gatherer tribes.  At the beginning of the Stone Age, settlers from the continent migrated across the Kalmar Strait by an ice bridge connecting the island to the continent.
Signs of an inhabited Åland (known in antiquity as Ålandia) appear at the earliest in 6000 BC, when settlements appeared at Alby and other places around the island. Burials dating from the early Iron Age to the Viking Age are clearly visible at Gettlinge, Hulterstad and other sites; they are surrounded by a stone wall including so-called ‘stone ships’. A total of 19 such stone rings were found on the island, one of which, Eketorp, was fully excavated, and 24,000 artefacts were found.
Around 900 AD, Wulfstan of Hedeby called the island “Eowland”, that is, the land of the Eowites. Note that this is not the first mention of the Aeows. Earlier this tribe was mentioned in the Anglo-Saxon poem “Widsith”.
A number of historians point out that perhaps the people from Eland were mentioned even by Tacitus in 98 AD – he called them “avions”. [ source not cited 76 days ] .
During a long period of Swedish history, the park served as a hunting ground for members of the royal family; the Ottenby and Halltorps areas were chosen for this purpose.
On June 1, 1676 in sight of the island took place the Battle of Åland between the Swedish fleet and the combined fleets of Denmark and Holland. The Allies won it.
In 1941, the Soviet submarine C-6 was killed near the island, presumably blown up on a German mine. The remains of the submarine were found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2012. The place of the submarine’s death is supposed to be declared a war grave  .
Highest point of Åland: Högsrum (55 m). The largest lake: Hornssjön. The length of the island is 137 km. Its width (at its widest): 16 km. 
Nature and ecology
The dominant natural feature of Eland is the limestone plateau Stora Alvaret, home to many rare and endangered species of animals and plants. The first known scientific study of Stora Alvaret dates back to 1741, when Karl Linnaeus visited the island .
The foundations of the island are composed mainly of Cambrian rocks, limestone rich in aluminum alum, and Ordovician limestone, estimated to be 540-450 million years old. The Cambrian trilobite species Eccaparadoxides oelandicus is named after Eland .
A county road, Highway 136, runs along the perimeter of Eland.
In 2011, Gripen Gas requested permission to test natural gas drilling at Eland  . This request was approved by Bergsstaten, the state agency in charge of mining planning. This drew criticism from municipal and district authorities, indicating that multiple faults in the island’s limestone basement could lead to groundwater contamination from by-products of gas production  .
Borgholm Castle was built between 1669 and 1681 for Queen Hedvig Eleonora, designed by Nicodemus Tessin the Elder. Not far from the castle is Solliden Palace, the summer residence of the royal family.
The limestone plateau of Stora Alvaret is a UNESCO World Heritage Site , not only for its unique flora and fauna, but also for its historical monuments such as the ancient cemeteries of Gettlinge and Eketorp, the well-preserved 17th century wooden mills (sometimes called “Land of Windmills” for them), and the overall unique nature of the landscape.
For a decade, Åland has been organizing and hosting an annual harvest festival, Skördefest. Farmers from the island and all over Sweden sell their crops during these days and allow all interested tourists to work on their farms for a taste of rural life. In the center of Borgholm is installed a symbol of the holiday – a scarecrow with a pumpkin head (pumpagubbe). 
During the course of Skjordefest there are many exhibitions, including during the art night Konstnatten (Konstnatten).
The romantic poet Erik Johan Stagnelius was born on Åland in 1793 and lived here until he was 16. He sang about the island in several poems. More modern authors have written about Åland, including the novelist Margit Friberg, the poet Anna Rydstedt, the novelist Birgitta Trotzig (1929-2011), and the poet Lennart Sjögren, children’s storyteller Eva Bexell, poet Tom Hedlund, novelist Johan Theorin, poet and novelist Magnus Utvik, and novelist Per Planhammar.
The Smålands Fotbollförbund (Smålands Football Union)  is active on the island, as it is in the surrounding areas of mainland Sweden.
Because of the Åland Bridge, the EU does not officially consider Åland an island, as it is connected to the continent. Because of this, the economy of the island has already lost about 25-50 million Swedish kronor (SEK)  .
Testimonial: Åland Island (Sweden) – Beauty.
Hello my dear readers. finally decided to write to you about Sweden. and i will begin with the island called Åland. wonderful and very beautiful island, charming its uniqueness. the island is connected to the city of Kalmar giant bridge, the size or rather the length of about seven kilometers, on which the cyclists and motorists every day to go to the beaches of the island.
there is wonderful white sand, sunshine, amazingly beautiful flora and fauna, about four hundred windmills, monuments, both archaeological and historical and that is all the greatest wealth of this beautiful island. Åland is the second largest island in Sweden. there is a rocky bedrock of limestone, shale and sandstone that formed many millions of years ago. there are deposits of limestone under the ground.
There is also a charming and beautiful bay Czöpingsvik, next to which there are steep cliffs that break into the water because they are washed away by waves and winds. very beautiful and majestic forests are spread over six thousand hectares of land. there you can meet rare species of animals, flowers.
the rarest species is the “sun flower of eland”, there are also about 25 species of orchids, which are protected by the state, lilies, blue anemones, which are surprisingly beautiful, as well as violets and primroses. but the fauna is no less rich. there is the ornithological reserve Utembi, which breeds such animals as lapwing, waders, loons, plovers, wading birds, waterfowl and seabirds.
It is the place where the birds stop to rest and continue their way to warmer climes. there is everything a tourist or a traveler needs for peace of mind and peace of mind.
There are stone cycles, by the way, it is very interesting to observe how people lived in ancient times, there are also burial mounds of local princes and still neolithic settlements. it is just a paradise, especially for birds. and the most popular hobby among the islanders is bird watching, there are even those who watch the paths of migratory birds. in general, if you are in Sweden must visit this island, it is really very beautiful and interesting place. i wish you enjoy watching and reading.