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The city Molde in the county of Møre og Romsdal, Norway, has 23,955 inhabitants as of January 1, 2003. Neighboring municipalities include Fræna, Aukra, Midsund, Vestnes, Rauma, Nesset, and Gjemnes.

Located on the Romsdalsfjord, Molde is known as the city of roses. It is county capital of Møre og Romsdal and host for the bishop of Møre.

The city has an airport at Årø, with flights to Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim.

Molde has a small university college specialized in information sciences, transport economics and logistics, with education up to and including PhD.

Every July, Molde is host to an international jazz festival, Moldejazz. Musical artists, including Eric Clapton, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Santana and Joe Cocker, have performed at the jazz festival.

Every August, Molde and Nesset host an international literature festival, Bjørnsonfestivalen.

The local newspaper is named Romsdals Budstikke. The local newspapers Romsdal Folkeblad[?] and Fylket[?] both went bankrupt in the late 20th century.

Two notable persons from Molde are politician Kjell Magne Bondevik and businessman Kjell Inge Røkke.

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Tourism Molde was a popular destination for tourists already in the late 19th century, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany being a regular summer visitor. The city was then recognized by a large number of gardens and flowers among the mostly wooden buildings, and was given the nickname the city of roses.

Visitors can amongst other enjoy a magnificient view of more then 220 remote mountain peaks from the viewpoint Varden.

Another famous attraction is the King's birch at Glomstua, which is where King Haakon VII and Crown Prince Olav seeked hide during the German World War II bombing of the city in April 1940.

Culture Three of "the great four" Norwegian authors have stayed or lived in Molde. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson attended school in Molde, Henrik Ibsen spent a couple of periods at the mansion Moldegård, whose owner he knew, and Alexander Kielland[?] resided as the county mayor of Romsdals Amt (name of Møre og Romsdal upto 1920). The Ibsen play Rosmersholm[?] is clearly inspired by the life at Moldegård, and possibly the play The Lady From The Sea[?] is set in the city of Molde (although there is no such reference in the play, the geographical descriptions match perfectly). Other authors from, or with strong bonds to Molde, include Edvard Hoem[?], Jo Nesbø[?], Nini Roll Anker[?], a dear friend of Sigrid Undset.

History Originating from the two major farms Reknes and Moldegård, a small port called Molde Fiære was formed, based on trade with timber and herring. In 1614 the town gained formal trading rights, and in 1742 cityhood. One third of the city, mostly wooden buildings and rose gardens, was destroyed in a fire January 21 and 22, 1916. A second fire struck when the Germans bombed the city in April 1940, destroying about two thirds of the city. The Germans were chasing the King, his government and gold reserves, which were fleeing, and thus stayed in Molde from April 22 to April 29, making Molde the capital of Norway for a week.

Sports The local football team, Molde F.K., plays in the Norwegian premier league (2003).

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