One of the Highlights of Ålesund is
Sunnmøre Museum was founded in 1931 on the place of original Borgund market town. The museum was opened in 1946 as a folk museum for coastal culture.
Borgund Kaupang was a trading city in Sunnmøre during the Middle Ages, and was the most important trading post of the powerful Giske family. The settlement dates back to the first half of the 1000s (Viking`s Age). In the 13th century, there were probably urban settlements, and in the 14-15th centuries, after a raging plague, the city fell into decay. Then 2/3 of the entire population died out, and just at that time, due to a lack of labor, Alesund and Burgundy lost their right to freely sell fish to foreign merchants. This right passed to German merchants from Bergen (Hanseatic League) for 400 years.
Archaeological excavations have revealed a dense settlement on an area of about 40-45 acres. Mooring facilities, roads, wells, about 50 houses, storage sheds and barns in various buildings were dug. In the Middle Ages, there were 4 churches on this site.
Nowadays, this ancient Village is a beautiful open air museum with 55 old and distinct original houses, dated to 16-20 centuries.
In the guided tour you will see the original small houses that provided shelter to the family in feasts and everyday life, cow sheds, houses for food storage, shoemaker house, colonial boutique, old school, and other interesting buildings. You will learn how people could survive in these tough climate conditions.
Everything from mountain huts and barns to boathouses and fishermen’s shacks are visible reminders of the daily work on farms and at the fjords.