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Alesund

Country
Norway
State
More Og Romsdal
City
Alesund
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Alesund is a town and municipality in More og Romsdal county, Norway.It is part of the traditional district of Sunnmore, and the center of the Alesund Region.It is a sea port, and is noted for its unique concentration of Art Nouveau architecture.Alesund town is the administrative centre of the municipality as well as the principal shipping town of the Sunnmore district.Alesund municipality has a population of 42,982 as of 2010, while the greater Alesund area has a population of 46,471 (this also includes most of neighboring Sula as well).

Legend has it that Gangerolf (outside of Norway better known as Rollo), the 10th century founder of the dynasty of the dukes of Normandy, hailed from the community of Giske, north-west of Alesund.At least three statues of Rolle exist: in the town park in Alesund, in the city of Rouen, France, and in Fargo, North Dakota, United States.In the night of 23 January 1904, the town was the scene of the Alesund Fire, one of the most terrible of the many conflagrations to which Norwegian towns, once built largely of wood, have been subjected.Practically the entire town was destroyed during the night, a gale aiding the flames, and the population had to leave the town in the middle of the night with only a few minutes' notice.Only one person died in the fire, the 76-year old Ane Heen, but more than 10,000 people were left without shelter.

The second largest island, Elingsoya, used to be accessible only by boat or by road via Skodje municipality, but an undersea tunnel was built in 1987 to make travelling between the island and the town centre more convenient.The tunnel is 3,481 metres (11,421 ft) long, and was upgraded in 2009.Situated 236 km north northeast of Bergen, Alesund is adjacent to the Hjorund and Geiranger fjords, the latter being on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.

Alesund has the most important fishing harbour in Norway.The town's fishing fleet is one of the most modern in Europe.Alesund and surroundings also has a large furniture industry. Some well-known household items are manufactured here.In the 1950s and 1960s, Alesund was one of the chief stations of the herring fishery business.To the east of Alesund lies the village of Sykkylven.The Ekornes factory, producing furniture such as the StressLess chair.Hahjem, another village near Alesund, contains the headquarters of the Stokke company.Alesund is also one of the harbours at which the Hurtigruten arrives two times per day.Alesund is a popular tourist attraction, both due to its pittoresque town center and its proximity to major fjords.The Atlanterhavsparken aquarium is other touristic attaction.



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How to Reach

By Air

Alesund Airport Vigra is just a 20-minute drive from Alesund town centre and has good connections to Oslo and other Norwegian towns and cities.From Oslo, there are several daily flights to/from a number of international destinations.The airport bus connects with all arrivals and departures and stops at the town's hotels.There are also good connections from Orsta-Volda Airport Hovden near Volda, to/from most Norwegian towns and cities.

By Train

The train journey on the Rauma Railway is an experience in itself, and from Andalsnes the bus takes you all the way to Alesund & Sunnmore.

By Bus

Express bus services with Nor-Way Bussekspress run throughout the region, with good connections to/from Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim.Local bus companies stop at most villages and towns in the district.At weekends, it is advisable to plan your itinerary if you want to use public transport as services are more limited than during the week.

By Boat

Hurtigruten (The Norwegian Coastal Express)Hurtigruten's northward and southward bound coastal express boats call daily at Alesund and at Torvik, near Fosnavag.During the summer season, Hurtigruten operates daily round trips between Alesund and Geiranger.Express boats and ferries There are express boats/ferries that sail in virtually all directions along the coast and fjords, binding the coast and fjord districts together.There is also a wide variety of boats for hire - with or without a skipper.

By Car

Driving in the regions of Alesund and Sunnmore can be a rewarding scenic experience.From Oslo, take the E6 to Dombas, then continue on the E136 via Orskog and Skodje to Alesund.From Trondheim, take the E39 heading south.From Bergen, there are several exciting routes to choose from, including the the coastal road E39.An alternative is to take the E39 to Byrkjelo, then the rv. 60 via Olden and Stryn to Alesund.The journeys from Bergen and Trondheim include some beautiful ferry crossings.

Key places to visit
Jugendstilsenteret, Aalesunds Museum, Atlantic Sea-Park, Rondane National Park, Vardohus Fortress


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Places to Visit

Jugendstilsenteret

Is a national Art Nouveau Centre located in the former Swan Pharmacy building in central Alesund, the Art Nouveau town of Norway.The building was designed by architect Hagbarth Schytte-Berg and built 1905–1907.It was the first listed Art Nouveau / Jugendstil monument in Alesund (1984) and it includes the towns best preserved Art Nouveau interior.Jugendstilsenteret is an interpretation centre showing both modern multimedia exhibitions and international art and design of Art Nouveau.The Art Nouveau centre was opened by Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway on June 6, 2003.

Aalesunds Museum

The permanent displays at Aalesunds Museum are devoted to various aspects of the town in its dual capacity as a fishing, sealing and shipping port of the commercial and industrial centre of Sunnmore.Key events in the towns history, among them the fire of  1904 and the German occupation of 1940-45, are also accorded the place due to them.

Atlantic Sea-Park

Is an aquarium in Alesund, Norway.It was founded in 1951 as a limited company.The current facility was officially opened 15 June 1998.The Atlantic Sea-Park is one of Scandinavia's largest saltwater aquariums and one of the leading tourist attractions in the area.Originally founded in 1951 as a limited company, the Aquarium moved in 1967 into more permanent premises in the basement of the "Fishermen House" near Brosundet.In 1976 the aquarium was turned into a foundation, and planning was started for a new facility.The current facility was finally opened on 15 June 1998 during the 150th anniversary of the city of Alesund.

Rondane National Park

Is smaller than, and not as wild, as Jotunheimen National Park.However, it offers a good challenge for those who like the feeling of wilderness and roughness of high peaks combined with the possibility of exploring rounded and friendly moorland.The trip from Mysusaeter to Spranget and then on to Rondvassbu, and the trip from Høvringen to Peer Gynt-hytta.The Troll Trail is a continuous marked ski trail, which passes through miles of untouched nature from Hovringen and the Rondane National Park in the north, via Ringebufjellet, to Lillehammer in the south.The trail is about 170 kilometres long and is normally marked from 1 February until after Easter.

Vardohus Fortress

The present-day Vardohus Fortress is both the world’s northernmost and at the same time Norway’s easternmost fortress.It is located in Vardo, which is Western Europe's only town in the arctic climatic zone, in the county of Finnmark.Except for a few minor changes, it appears today as it did when it was built in 1738.It is shaped as a perfect eight-pointed star, with low, stone-clad earth-walls, based on Central European principles.Inside the walls, there are nine characteristic buildings grouped around a courtyard.With its shape, Vardohus Fortress is a unique example of cultural and military history.Today, Vardohus Fortress is primarily a flag/salute fortress.The Fortress is open to the public and houses a unique museum.

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