Stretching into the Borgundfjord and backed by the Sunnmoere Alps, Aalesund abounds with natural beauty. The town itself dates from the 9th century, when it was a Viking base for establishing settlements in France. Following a great fire in 1904, Aalesund was rebuilt in the popular Art Nouveau style of the time. Today, the towers, turrets and romantic facades make this one of the loveliest towns in all of Norway. The city is also the world's largest supplier of "klippfisk," or dried cod, but the main attraction by far is the scenic beauty of Aalesund's fjords and surrounding peaks, including 550-foot Mt. Aksla.