The city is spread over several islands, with the spectacular Sunnmøre Mountains as a background. Although the town is quite young it has an unusually dramatic story to tell.
On, January, 1904 a devastating fire raged through the streets of Ålesund. During 16 hours, the whole centre of the town burned to the ground and only 230 houses escaped destruction, leaving thousands of people homeless. The town was rebuilt in three years, in 1907 after remarkable contributions of its residents.
Ålesund revived in the unique Art Nouveau style and is a member of "Rèseau Art Nouveau Network", a European network of Art Nouveau cities.
The town is known today both nationally and internationally for its outstanding architecture that everyone should see for themselves.