Aland Islands, 300 in number, form an archipelago at the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia. Only 80 are inhabited, the rest being barren rocks of granite, outliers in fact of the ridge that runs along the coast of Finland. The inhabitants, numbering 16,000, are of Swedish origin, but since 1809 have been under Russian rule. They are hardy and industrious raising crops enough to satisfy their needs, rearing cattle and making butter and cheese for exportation, catching and curing quantities of fish. Aland, the chief of the group, is 18 miles by 14 miles. The fortress of Bomarsund, destroved in the Russian war 1854, is on one of these islets.