The town of Art
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
Jugendstilsenteret - The Art Nouveau Centre of Norway.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.
Today Ålesund has
one of the largest and important fishing harbors in Norway.
Their fishing fleet is one of the most modern in Europe.
Ålesund and surroundings have a large furniture industry.
Some well-known household items are manufactured here.
To the east of Ålesund is the village of Sykkylven. Here,
Ekornes creates furniture such as the StressLess chair, sold
all over the world.
At Håhjem, the Stokke group has its headquarters. Stokke has
among other things created the chair TrippTrapp, an
ingenious design built to last. It is easily changed to fit
the child as it grows. Most homes in Norway have at least
Ålesund is also one of the harbours at which the Hurtigruten
arrives two times per day. The Hurtigruten, once known as
the post ship fleet of Norway, is a favorite way to travel
along Norway's coast.