Posted on Mar 28, 2012 | Comments 0
The Norwegian city of Alesund is one of 14 in Europe that has been recognized for possessing significant Art Nouveaucollections, which is a decorative style of architecture and art that was very popular between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Also, Alesund is a very popular travel destination. There are many hotel deals on the Expedia website.
However, Alesund stands out slightly above the rest. Vienna, Austria is well known for the Secession building while Brussels, Belgium features the popular Horta Museum, but Alesund is home to over 800 Art Nouveau buildings.
Most of these impressive buildings sit in the center of the charming city and they attract thousands of onlookers each year. However, the surrounding countryside is just as popular as the city because of itsnatural beauty. One of the most popular locations is Aksla Mountain. If you head to the top of it, you will be treated to an amazing view of the Sunmore Alps and the city of Alesund.
Other marvelous sites include the lighthouse, which was built in 1876 on the isle of Godoy, and the Sunmore Museum, where you can see traditional Norwegian buildings, a few dozen historic boats, an ancient trading vessel, and a replica of a Viking ship.
The city of Alesund itself is one of the most important fishing harbors in western Norway and has a population of just over 40,000 people. There are two nearby fjords, the Naeroy and Geiranger, which are both listed as World Heritage Sites. Many of the city’s buildings run alongside the picturesque Canal Alesundet, with some of them featuring spites, turrets, and ornamental mythical beasts.
Alesund has also seen some hard times over the years. A fire raged through it in early 1904 and destroyed close to 1,000 homes and left most of the population homeless. Amazingly, just one person lost their life due to the tragedy. A quick-thinking prison warden saved many lives when he let his prisoners flee and told them to come back the next day.
Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, who loved the local fjords, helped the resident out by sending shiploads of building materials and provisions. Many of the country’s skilled carpenters and architects headed to Alesund to look for work and the city was rebuilt during the following 3 years and Art Nouveau was the modern European style at this point in history.
Art Nouveau basically developed when Europe was changing to an industrial-based economy from an agricultural one. This also led to Art Nouveau furnishings, art and interiors. Some countries had their own versions of the art form and Norway was one of them, but it was also influenced by the German style and many local architects were trained in Germany.
Some of the most visited buildings in Alesund include Kongens gate 25 and Kongens gate 21, and the old Swan Pharmacy, which is now known as Norway’s Art Nouveau Center. The pharmacy, which dates back to 1907, is regarded as one of the nation’s finest examples of Art Nouveau and is one of numerous protected heritage structures in the city. There is also a visual story at the Center which tells how the city was rebuilt after the fire.
Alesund is located about 150 miles north of the city of Bergen. On every Jan. 23rd at 2:15 am, the city’s fire is remembered as fire fighters from across the region walk through the town, following the path of the fire.
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