Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Ålesund
The coastal town of Ålesund, with a population of approximately 45.000 and a area of 98,4 km2, is the commercial and industrial capital of Møre and Romsdal. Its coat of arms depicts a combined trawler and freight ship under sail with 3 fish, representing Ålesund´s longstanding place in commerce and fishing trade. The Coastal Steamer (Hurtigruten) has daily departures.
Ålesund is a unique experience, with its fantastic view from the town mountain Aksla, 418 steps from the town centre, its magnificent Art Nouveau architecture and the picturesque Brosundet. Experience also one of Europe´s largest aquariums, The Atlantic Sea-Park, built into the coastal landscape, it provides facinating insight into the multitude of life beneath the waves. Take a stroll at the open-air Sunnmøre Museum and feel you are centuries back in time. Learn all about the town fire in 1904 at Aalesunds Museum. And why not visit the Fishery Museum - and perhaps do some cod-liver-oil tasting? An experience you´ll never forget!
Ålesund has one of the largest export harbours in the world for "Klippfisk", i.e. split, dried and salted cod, and a bustling, picturesque fishing port along the old harbour "Brosundet" with Skansegata where you can buy fresh fish and prawns. The town has a rich and lively history behind it, even though it was only granted municipal status in 1848, thanks largely to resistance on the parts of both Bergen and Trondheim to division of trading rights. Countless interesting objects have been excavated in the museum area of Viking Age Borgundkaupangen.
The town was devastated by fire in the early hours of the 23rd of January 1904: This even gave rise to a saying in Norway: "I´ve never heard anything like it since Ålesund burnt down". The furious winter storm spread a blaze akin to an explosion, laying the whole town centre in ashes and leaving 10.000 people homeless.
Following exeptional relief work, including immediate shipments of provisions and building materials from the whole of Europe, including the Emperor William II of Germany himself, the town was completely rebuilt in the pre valent style, Art Nouveau.
COASTAL STEAMER (HURTIGRUTA)
The World´s Most Beautiful Voyage is a voyage like no other. Nothing can compare with it. Nothing about this journey will resemble anything you have ever experienced before. A ticket for the Coastal Steamer is a ticket to the theatre, an 11-day drama in which new acts constantly unfold all around you. See the pictures from the Coastal Steamer taken by one of our passengers.
ART NOUVEAU TOWN
Nowadays, Ålesund is one of the very few remaining Art Nouveau towns in the world, with an atmosphere and distinctive character valued by inhabitants and visitors alike. The architects that designed the houses were young Norwegians, and they were influenced by both national romantic ideas as well as that time period´s popular architectural style; Art Nouveau. The buildings are decorated with towers, turrets and imaginative and colourful ornaments. When you go on your walk, take a look at all parts of the buildings, that's when you will notice all the small details that make these houses so beautiful.
The mountain Aksla, the mountain lodge Fjellstua and the vantage point "Kniven" (the knife) tower over the centre, affording a splendid view of the town, the skerries, and right across to the jagged Sunnmøre Alps. From the terrace at Fjellstua you can admire the breath taking view. Fjellstua have a restaurant, cafeteria and a souvenirshop. From the town park, a pathway comprised of 418 steps leads you to the top.
ART NOUVEAU CENTRE
The Art Nouveau Centre documents the town's unique architectural history with the establishment of Art Nouveau architecture after the great Town Fire of 1904. Experience the fascinating and exciting history that is presented to you through a time machine and multi media shows that portrays the town before and after the fire. Take a stroll through the many rooms in the listed building known as "The Swan Pharmacy", and be mesmerized by the beautiful and authentic décor. The permanent exhibitions include themes such as "From ashes to Art Nouveau" and " The New Art" and "The Beautiful Art Nouveau Style". Ålesund is a member of "Rèseau Art Nouveau Network", a European network of Art Nouveau cities, including among others Brussels, Glasgow, Barcelona, Nancy and Vienna.
THE TOWN PARK
The Town Park was built at the west side of Mount Aksla in 1885, by Ålesund municipality. A gardener planned the park after the design of other popular parks in those days, where the area's topography is the basis of its construction. The part of the park that faces the street was constructed in 1921-23. In the park there are a variety of plants and trees, and the famous 418 steps long staircase leading up to Mount Aksla is also to be found here. In the park there are two statues of historic men that both have a connection to Ålesund.
One of the statues portrays the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, in appreciation of his help after the Town Fire in 1904. The other statue is of the Viking Gange-Rolf, also known as Rollo. He is said to be from the island Giske outside Ålesund, and fled to France in 911, where he founded Normandy. He was the forefather of William the Conqueror, who conquered England in 1066, making Rollo the forefather of the English royal family as well.
In connection with the millennium celebration of the conquest of Normandy in 911, Ålesund received the 2,65 metres tall bronze statue of Rollo as a gift from the city of Rouen in 1911. Today there are three such large statues of Rollo in the world, and they can be found in Rouen, Ålesund, and Fargo in the USA.
THE ATLANTIC SEA-PARK
The Atlantic Sea-Park is beautifully situated along the ocean Front at Tueneset, approximately 3 km west of Ålesund, and represents one of the largest aquariums in Europe. The park contains 4000 m2 of public and exhibition space, in addition to 6000 m2 of coastal scenery, with fishing stands, hiking trails, bathing sites and outstanding diving venues. Cafeteria and souvenir shop.
The Atlantic-Sea Park is unique, built into coastal surroundings and adapted to modern exhibition principles. Large landscape aquariums teem with ocean life from up and down the Atlantic, with an emphasis on the western regions. Enjoy watching the divers feeding the fish by hand in the Atlantic Ocean tank!
SUNNMØRE MUSEUM & BORGUNDKAUPANGEN
Visit the open-air museum with its vast collection of old houses in a beautiful park. Enjoy a stroll between the picturesque houses and the archaeological exhibitions, and get an insight into the cultural and architectural history of Sunnmøre. Sunnmøre Museum with approximately 50 old houses in beautiful surroundings (public open-air leisure area), a comprehensive boat collection and The Medieval Age Museum, situated at the old trading community Borgundkaupangen. Explore the ruins of churches, buildings and port facilities a thousand years back in time, and exhibitions of the archaeological findings in the area. The museum offers a wide range of activities for children and adults including activities in the old houses showing living conditions in former days from 11 am, a guided tour at 12 am and a Vikingship cruise at 1.30 pm.
The town museum with exhibitions of photographs, models, artifacts and paintings gives a vivid insight into the growth of Ålesund, the development of the hunting trade and fishing industries, and the development of the most popular fishing boats of the region and World War II. It also gives information of the Great fire in Ålesund in l904 and the time of rebuilding and the fantastic town model depicting Ålesund in 1898.
THE FISHERY MUSEUM
The Fisheries Museum is situated by Ålesund harbour, in the beautiful warehouse Holmbua from 1861. The museum presents Ålesunds history within fish production and export. Features, among other things, the production of cod liver oil, dried cod, and on almost extinct professions, such as barrel making.
Borgund Church of today was partly rebuilt after a local fire in 1904, but its oldest part is believed to originate from the old St. Peter´s Church from the 12th century. Particularly noteworthy today are the unusually beautiful wooden carvings and panelled ceiling and a smallish stone altar dating from the Middle Ages.
In addition to St. Peter´s Church the foundations of the Margaretha Church can be seen at the Medieval Museum nearby. The ruins of an old marble church are hidden under the road to the adjacent parsonage and may have been the St. Matthew´s Church, or the Christ Church. Several medieval graves have been found here.
The current church was built in 1909 in Norman style, and holds 700 - 800 people. The church boasts splendid frescoes painted by Enevold Thømt 1918 - 28 and beautiful stained glass windows. The stained glass gable windows behind the organ were an inauguration gift from the German Emperor William ll.
The modern church at Volsdalen was inaugurated May 19th 1974. The slate-paved floor symbolises the cliff- a fixture in faith. The church is decorated with stained glass windows and colourful paintings by artist Frans Widerberg, the largest on the west wall stands 15 metres tall.
The Catholic Church helds Mass at these times: Sundays at 11.00. Wednesdays at 18.00. One Saturday a month at 13.00, the third Thursday of the month at 12.00, and the first Friday every month at 18.00.
Deep sea fishing enthusiasts can take a fishing trip out in the fjord. You can fish for salmon, cod and halibut. Be aware that there are a number of special rules in regards to fishing. Remember to purchase a fishing licence.
Ålesund Golfclub is a golf course with 9 holes and a variation of difficulties. The course is an open forrestcourt. Drivingrange and ProShop. Permanent 18 hole course planned, the first holes may be completed in 2004. Solnør Farm golfcourt lies approximately 30 km from Ålesund City Center, close to the E 39 / E 136.
Moa Golfclub is a 6 holes approved with an extra 3 holes. The course and Drivingrange is open at all hours in daylight. Indoor in the large barn will be a 16" Putting Gren, and upstairs Drivingrange with GolfSimulator.