The Art Nouveau town of Ålesund could be taken right out of a fairy tale. If you look up as you explore the town, you will discover an abundance of imaginative ornamentation on the fronts of the buildings. Walk up the 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla and you will be rewarded by unforgettable panoramic views!
From Ashes to Art Nouveau
For all it’s beauty, Ålesund has a fascinating story to tell. A devastating fire in 1904 destroyed 830 homes and left 10,000 people homeless. Through the remarkable efforts of the local population and with help and contributions from near and far, the town was rebuilt. The town rose phoenix-like from the ashes – in the distinctive style called Jugendstil or the English Art Nouveau style. Incredibly as it may seem, during 1907, 600 houses were rebuilt in the centre of Ålesund!
The buildings are decorated with towers, turrets and imaginative and colourful ornaments. Today, Ålesund is renowned both nationally and internationally for its architecture, and is a member of "Rèseau Art Nouveau Network”, a European network of Art Nouveau cities, including among others Glascow, Barcelona and Vienna.
Today, this charming town with it’s historical buildings house exciting cafeterias and restaurants, shops and galleries. A wide selection of shops and galleries make even shopping enthusiasts feel at home! Along the picturesque fishing harbour of Brosundet lie sea houses which originally were used for receiving and preparing of fish. Today they are housing hotels, offices and shops. If you are lucky, you might also have the opportunity to buy shrimp directly from a local fisherman! Take the trip up the 418 steps to the mountain Aksla - the reward will be panoramic view of the coast, fjords and mountains surrounding the city.