Ålesund, NorwayÅlesund is a fishing town, with an excellentharbour, built on three small islands on the westcoast of Norway.The town is noted for its unique architecture.
Coordinates:62°28′N, 06°11′E Ålesund (or Aalesund) is located north of Bergen, on the west coast. Pop. 45 299
Ålesund is the fishingcapital of Norway. Thetowns fishing fleet isone of the mostmodern in Europe. The town is also a port of call for passenger and freight vessels travelling between Bergen and Trondheim, including the well-known daily Hurtigruta (Norwegian Coastal Express ships).
The Hurtigruten route runs along the norwegian coast, till the farnortheast fronteer with Russia in Kirkenes.
Ålesund is also one of the very few Art Nouveau towns in the world, with an atmosphere and distinctive character valued by its inhabitants.
Town view from Fjellstua, a restaurant on top of nearby mount Aksla.
The ÅlesundetAlong the marine sound that cuts through the inner town, calledÅlesundet, colourful houses – were warehouses but are hotelsnow - reflect in sunny days on the calm waters.
The city grew around Brosundet, the fishing port, and the narrowchannel Ålesundet. That’s where you find most of the historic sites.
In the town center, Kongens gate and Kirkegata are the main streets, butother deserve a visit, like Apothekergata, Storgata and Løvenvoldgata .Ålesund has no great central squares: St. Olavs Plass and Aksel HolmsPlass are the main squares.
Kongens gate ( King´s Street ) is the old "main street" , the mostprestigious of Ålesund, and where shopping is still a must.
Art Nouveu/JugendstilKongens Gata, 12Shop and flat1906
At one end of Kongens gate, the street opens into St. Olavs square:
The biggest music festival in Alesund,the Jugendfest, takes place here atSt. Olavs plass in August.
Jugendstilsenteret, the Art Nouveau center, now occupiesa historical building that housed the old Swan Pharmacy.
The Norwegian Centre of Art Nouveau Architecture, Jugendstilsenteret,is a museum and competence center with exhibitions telling the story ofthe city fire and Art Nouveu/Jugendstil in Norway and Europe.http://www.jugendstilsenteret.no/
Even the cakes served at the cafeteria display Art Nouveau decoration !
Apothekergata ends in Aksel Holms Plass, the other old town smallsquare:
Arbeiderforeningen (Labor Union house) in Aksel Holms Plass
Viking ships ornate the pediment.Art Nouveau in Ålesund is often inspired in viking themes
The House was built in 1887, and the municipality of Ålesund tookover the building in 1983. It was re-opened in 1987 after a carefulrestauration.
Today, ‘Arbeideren’ is oneof Norways finest venues,with art nouveau elegantinterior decor.
After the 1904 fire, the town was rebuilt in the Art nouveau architecturalstyle (called Jugendstil in German).The houses were constructed by Norwegian architects educated inTrondheim, and being inspired from the style in Europe.
The Ålesund Fire in 1904 wasthe most terrible of the manyconflagrations to whichNorwegian towns, once builtlargely of wood, have beensubjected.Practically the entire town wasdestroyed during the night, a galeaiding the flames, and thepopulation had to leave the townin the middle of the night with onlya few minutes notice.Some of the best examples ofJugendstil can be seen alongApotekergata, Løvenvoldgata andKongensgata.
Ålesund Church has one of the finest organs in Norway
Aalesunds MuseumThe museum is housed in a brick building from 1918 to 1919, built as aprivate residence for a local merchant.The museum building has retained its original appearance,.
The museum displays various aspects of the town in its capacity as afishing, sealing and shipping port of the commercial and industrialcentre of Sunnmøre.Key events in the towns history, among them the fire of 1904 and theGerman occupation of 1940-45, are also accorded the place due tothem.
A room is devoted to central features of the Ålesund variant of thehighly decorative Art Nouveau style http://www.aalesunds.museum.no
Giske Church, ÅlesundBuilt of white marble during the 12th century, in Norman style,Most of today’s interior woodwork, including the altar and pulpit, was carved during a large renovation in the 18th century..
Giske Church is located on the south side of the island of Giske, about10 kilometres northwest of the town of Ålesund,The walls are presently covered by chalk on the outside and plaster onthe inside, so that the marble is only visible in a few places, all on theoutside.
Ålesund, NorwaySources:Photos and text excerpts from:http://www.trekearth.comhttp://www.pbase.comhttp://www.panoramio.com/http://www.flickr.com/More:http://www.jugendstilsenteret.no/?slang=1#cid=3http://www.aalesunds.museum.no/index.php?slang=1#cid=1Selection and slideshow by Mario Ricca , 2012