The capital of the Åland Islands is a pleasant port town. It was founded by Tsar Alexander II to meet the town's merchant navy needs. The town extends onto a narrow promontory separating the east and west ports and is the economic and political centre of the islands. Maarianhamina is quiet in winter but during the summer months is a popular and very lively resort. There are three museums, dedicated respectively to the navy, history and fine arts.