1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Aalesund
AALESUND, a seaport of Norway, in Romsdal amt (county), 145 m. N. by E. from Bergen. Pop. (1900) 11,672. It occupies two of the outer islands of the west coast, Aspö and Nörvö, which enclose the picturesque harbour. Founded in 1824, it is the principal shipping-place of Söndmöre district, and one of the chief stations of the herring fishery. Aalesund is adjacent to the Jörund and Geiranger fjords, frequented by tourists. From Öje at the head of Jörund a driving-route strikes south to the Nordfjord, and from Merok on Geiranger another strikes inland to Otta, on the railway to Lillehammer and Christiania. Aalesund is a port of call for steamers between Bergen, Hull, Newcastle and Hamburg, and Trondhjem. A little to the south of the town are the ruins of the reputed castle of Rollo, the founder, in the 9th century, of the dynasty of the dukes of Normandy. On the 23rd of January 1904, Aalesund was the scene of one of the most terrible of the many conflagrations to which Norwegian towns, built largely of wood, have been subject. Practically the whole town was destroyed, a gale aiding the flames, and the population had to leave the place in the night at the notice of a few minutes. Hardly any lives were lost, but the sufferings of the people were so terrible that assistance was sent from all parts of the kingdom, and by the German government, while the British government also offered it.