Ålesund is mostly known for its unique Art Nouveau architecture, which was in fact the result of a disaster. In 1904, the larger part of Ålesund was destroyed in a devastating fire. In an act of excellent foresight, it was decided to rebuild the town entirely in Art Nouveau, the fashionable style of the time. Most of this beauty has been preserved. If you look up as you explore the town, you will be enchanted by the rounded towers, sinuous lines and foliate forms typical of Art Nouveau.
By the picturesque harbour you find the landmark Holmbua. This warehouse, built in 1861, escaped the great fire and now holds the fisheries exhibitions of Ålesund Museum. Experience the exciting displays and learn more about the town’s production of dried cod and other fish produce. A trip to Aksla Mountain in the middle of the town is a must. Walk the 418 steps to the top and you will be rewarded by unforgettable panoramic views. The Art Nouveau Centre in Ålesund documents the town’s unique architectural history. Enjoy the fascinating history that brings you back to the fire in 1904.