Ålesund, where VonDoren's dream started
Von Doren’s fine timepiece design has been inspired by the breath-taking nature surrounding Ålesund together with its impressive architecture. We would like to take you on a tour in this amazing city to discover our valuable source of inspirations.
“Ålesund could be the backdrop for a Nordic fairy tale—with a modern plot twist.”- as described by National Geographic. The city is located on the West Coast of Norway with spectacular surrounding nature and the Art Nouveau architecture.
Ålesund is “sprawled on a collection of rugged North Sea islands” at the very entrance to the most important fjord system in Sunnmøre district. Ålesund is adjacent to the Hjørund- and Geirangerfjords. Geirangerfjord, well-known as the diamond of the Norwegian fjord with its special S-form, is on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. You will be amazed by the beautiful Storsæterfossen waterfalls and the abandoned mountain farms by this marvelous fjord.
"Ålesund is exceptional amongst Norwegian cities. Hardly anywhere else has such an extensive and complete environment been preserved, providing us with a unique example of a concentrated city in a small area, and what this once meant. Spaces created on a human scale, and with consistent but varied features, are qualities that above all characterize Ålesund."
(Professor Christian Norberg-Schultz, 1975.)
More interestingly, the city is surrounded by mountains. 418 steps to the top of the mountain Aksla will give you the breath-taking view of the city, fjords, and the Sunnmøre Alps. The nature is astonishing all year round.
CULTURE AND ARCHITECTURE
Ålesund is also known as one of the cities with the most concentrated Art Nouveau architecture in the world with a multitude of towers, spires and ornamental features. The city is a member of Réseau Art Nouveau Network, a European network of Art Nouveau cities together with Glasgow, Wien, Barcelona, Brussels and Riga.
"There is probably no Art Nouveau environment in Europe which is quite so characteristic as Ålesund. Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt or Avenue Louise in Brussels are impressive, but nothing can compare to Ålesund when it comes to extent and diversity."
(Director General of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage, Mr. Stephan Tschudi-Madsden, Ph.D., 1975.)
The entire city was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1904 but it was magically rebuilt during the period of 1904-1907 into a new, urban Norwegian architecture in stone, brick and plaster. The architects were inspired mainly by German Jügendstil (Art Nouveau) at the instigation of Kaiser Wilhelm II as well as National Romanticism. The buildings are characterized with towers, turret and imaginative and colourful decorations. It is said that you always have to look up when being in Ålesund in order to admire its hidden beauty. The history of this fascinating recreation is captured in the Jugendstilsenteret, a former pharmacy which is now the town's Art Nouveau Centre.
(Foto: Oddbjørn Monsen)
Looking at our watches, you can see the image of Ålesund with the elegant combinations of organic lines: the domed sapphire crystal, the best quality Italian leather straps and delicate stainless steel watch case.
Our timepieces, just like the city of Ålesund, are unique and never out of date.