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Alesund travel guide — Alesund tourism and travel information

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about Alesund

The city Ålesund (or Aalesund) in the county of Møre og Romsdal, Norway, has 39,373 inhabitants as of January 1, 2002. It is a sea port, 236 km (145 mi) north northeast of Bergen, and is noted for its unique concentration of Jugendstil or Art nouveau architecture.

It occupies seven of the outer islands of the west coast, Hessa, Aspøy and Nørvøy,Yksnøy, Ellingsøy, Humla and Tørla which enclose the picturesque town. Ålesund received city rights in 1848, it is the administrative center as well as the principal shipping-place of the Sunnmøre district, and was one of the chief stations of the herring fishery in the 1950ties and 60ties. Today Ålesund is the fishing capital of Norway.

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 Meråk on Geirangerfjord another strikes inland to Otta. From Åndalsnes, 120 km east of Ålesund, the railway line goes to Dombås on the Dovrebanen , and further 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 (Norwegian Coastal Express ships).

Gangerolf, outside of Norway better known as Rollo, the 10th century founder of the dynasty of the dukes of Normandy, comes from the community of Giske, north west of Ålesund.

In the night of January 23, 1904, the city 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 at a few minutes' notice.

Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany had often vacationed in Sunnmøre. After the fire, the Kaiser sent 4 ships with material to aid the people.The town was rebuilt in the Art nouveau architectural style (called Jugendstil in German) with turrets, spires, and ornamentation in many places. The houses were constructed by Norwegian arcitects educated in Trondheim,and being inspired from the style in Europe, i.e Germany, Scotland, France, Belgium and Spain. The style was at its peak in 1900 and today the visitor can still have the unique experience of being surrounded by more than 400 stylish homes and buildings a century old.

Ålesund is the site of an annual Norwegian Food Festival.

The local newspaper is named Sunnmørsposten.

The local football team, Aalesunds Fotballklubb (AaFK), founded in 1914, played in the Norwegian premier league in the 2003 season, and will be back in this league in 2005.

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