Godby is a village in Finström Municipality on the Åland Islands. It is the island’s second commercial center after Mariehamn and with its population of around 1.300 inhabitants, it is also the second largest locality. It has a strategic location close to the geographic center of the islands, to the north of the capital Mariehamn.
A Short History of Godby
Godby has for centuries been the central village of Northern Åland, especially before the founding of Mariehamn in 1961. That importance increased with the arrival of Frans Petter von Knorring in 1834. This priest at Finström Church in Pålsböle was going to change a lot within the municipality. One of the main achievements was the establishment of the first public secondary school, or “folkrealskola”, in Godby in 1853. It was the first of its kind on the Åland Islands.
Godby was for about a century home to the island public hospital from 1845 up until 1953. Later establishments included the commercial center in 1975 and the indoor sports hall in 1990. With the addition of the swimming pools in 2004, the sports hall is today the local sports center known as Ålands Idrottscenter. The indoor sports hall, then known as Godbyhallen, was housing the first Women’s World Floorball Championship in 1997 together with Mariehamn. It was here that Sweden became the first-ever champions with Finland as runner-up.
Things to Do and See
Godby is home to many of the local services of Finström Municipality. Here you can find schools, the sports center, and the public library. For many locals, it is the commercial center that is the main attraction. Here you will find two larger grocery stores, the K-Supermarket Mattssons and the S-market Godby. There are also a few smaller restaurants and other businesses such as a pharmacy and two bank offices.
How to Get to Godby
- Flights: The closest airport is Mariehamn Airport (MHQ), the main airport for the island.
- Car: Godby is located at the intersection between Road 2 and Road 4, north of Mariehamn in the northern part of the Åland Islands. A ferry ride is required to get here from the mainland of Finland.