59km (37 miles) N of Ålesund; 50km (31 miles) NW of Åndalsnes
Lacking the architectural excitement of Art Nouveau Ålesund, Molde is a bit dull in its architecture, yet it occupies one of the most scenic locations in the northern fjord country: the Romsdalfjord, in the More og Romsdal district. Lying on the Romsdal Peninsula, it is one of Norway's most dramatic coastlines. Molde is an ideal starting point for excursions along the coast and into the surrounding untamed area.
Norway's "town of jazz and roses" is famed for its view of 87 white-capped Romsdal Alps. When the Nazis attacked Norway during World War II, Molde briefly became, in effect, the country's capital, because the king and the gold reserves were here. King Haakon VII hid in a forest outside the town until he and his son, the future King Olav V, could board a boat for England. Three hundred houses were destroyed during the German bombings in 1940.
The name of Molde, from the Molde farm that occupied much of the area, has appeared in records since the Middle Ages. It was officially recognized as a trading place in 1614, and King Christian IV signed a royal decree declaring that Molde was a trading city in 1742. A modern, pleasant town, it boasts 18,000 citizens.