Ålesund is situated in the Sunnmøre district, and is the biggest town in Møre og Romsdal county and the natural regional centre for a surrounding country with about 130 000 inhabitants. The coastal town is one of the world's largest exporters of clipfish, and has a busy fishing harbour in the town centre where you can buy fresh fish and shrimps.
A unique architectural history
Ålesund is noted for its characteristic Jugendstil architecture, which is a result of the big city fire in 1904 when the town centre was completely destroyed. The architects who participated in the reconstruction was inspired by the present time's modern architectural style as well as national and national romantic impulses. The town holds a unique place in Norwegian architectural history, and is a part of a European art noveau network including cities such as Glasgow, Nancy, Vienna, Barcelona, Brussels and Riga.