"Ålesund - Fjords and Jugendstil" Top 5 Page for this destination Ålesund by MikeAtSea

Ålesund Travel Guide: 171 reviews and 544 photos

Ålesund is adjacent to the Hjørund and Geiranger fjords, frequented by tourists. From Øye at the head of Hjørundfjord a road strikes south to the Nordfjord, and from Maråk on Geirangerfjord another strikes inland to Otta. From Åndalsnes, 120 km east of Ålesund, the railway line Raumabanen goes to Dombås, then southwards on the Dovrebanen railway to Lillehammer and Oslo. Ålesund is a port of call for passenger and freight vessels travelling between Bergen, Kingston upon Hull, Newcastle, Hamburg, and Trondheim, including the daily Hurtigruta.
Ålesund is the site of an annual Norwegian Food Festival. Annually in May there is also a fantastic innovation conference with speakers from all over the world.
In the night of January 23, 1904, the town was the scene of the Ålesund Fire, one of the most terrible of the many conflagrations to which Norwegian towns, once built largely of wood, have been subjected. Practically
the whole town was destroyed, a gale aiding the flames, and the population had to leave the place in the middle of the night with only a few minutes' notice. Only one person died in the fire, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter in the harsh Norwegian winter. Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany had often vacationed in Sunnmøre. After the fire, the Kaiser sent 4 ships with material to build temporary shelters and barracks. After a period of planning, the town was rebuilt in stone, brick and mortar in Jugendstil/Art Nouveau, the architectural style of the time, that is famous for its turrets, spires and decorative ornamentation. The structures were designed by approximately 20 masterbuilders and 30 Norwegian architects, mostly educated in Trondheim and Charlottenburg (Berlin), drawing inspiration from the style that varies much throughout Europe. The style was at its peak in Europe in 1895-1905 and visitors can enjoy a town with an unusually consistent architecture, mostly rebuilt between 1904-1907.
At Jugendstilsenteret, a national interpretation centre, visitors can learn more about the town fire, the rebuilding of the town and the Art Nouveau style. Ålesund is a partner city of the Art nouveau network; a European network of co-operation created in 1999 for the study, safeguards and development of the Art nouveau.

For those who enjoy activity as part of their holidays, the surroundings of Ålesund offer wonderful walks, both easy and sweat-creating. Try taking the steps from the park up to Fjellstua to enjoy a bird's view of the town. There are nice walks across Aksla, and if you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of deer or foxes.
From Spjelkavik, about 10 km from Ålesund, you can take a lift up to Emblemsfjellet. The trip gives you a wonderful view of Sunnmørsalpene with their dramatic peaks.
In Norway, you have the right to walk wherever you like in the forests, hills and mountains, as long as you shut gates, bring your garbage home and practice your manners. The "allemannsrett" is observed. This means that you can hike, and pitch your tent just about anywhere, as long as you stay clear of people's houses and barns, their fenced-in areas and the areas where livestock is held. The bilberries are abundant, and there are fish in many of the mountain waters. Freshwater fishing requires a fishing license and fees to property owners.

  • Last visit to Ålesund: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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