Stavanger (Norwegian pronunciation: [stɑˈʋɑŋər] ) is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway.
Stavanger municipality has a population of 126,469. There are 197,852 people living in the Stavanger conurbation, making Stavanger the fourth largest city, but the third largest urban area, in Norway. Stavanger is the centre of the Stavanger metropolitan area, which has a population of 297,569, and the administrative centre of Rogaland county. The city is commonly referred to as the Petroleum Capital of Norway.
Domkirke of Stavanger, the oldest cathedral in Norway
Despite its age, dating back at least to the Viking Age, Stavanger only grew to its position among the most important Norwegian cities in the second half of the 20th century, after oil was discovered in the North Sea. Today, the city is marked by noticeable foreign influences as a result of the presence of several major international oil companies. Stavanger also houses the NATO Joint Warfare Center.
Norway's oldest cathedral, Stavanger domkirke, is situated in the city centre, right next to Breiavatnet lake. The two most popular recreational areas are situated around lakes, namely Mosvatnet and Stokkavatnet.
Stavanger by night - ferry going between Tau and Stavanger.
Access to Stavanger is provided through the Sørlandsbanen railway, and the road E39 from Kristiansand and E39 north on the west coast. Stavanger Airport, Sola has connections to domestic and European destinations, including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Aberdeen, Manchester and Copenhagen. Also, located outside Stavanger, there is a port serving ferries to Hirtshals, Denmark. There have been advocates for the Smyril Line ferry between the Faroe Islands and Denmark to make a stop in Stavanger as the new port in Risavika allows this to be done while only adding one hour to the total sailing time. Local ferries go to Tau and Kvitsøy, while fast passenger boats go to many villages and islands between the main routes from Stavanger to Haugesund and Sauda. Flaggruten operates catamaran passenger services to Bergen with multiple stops along the way, among others Haugesund. Express bus services are operated by NOR-WAY Bussekspress from Stavanger City Terminal to Kristiansand, Bergen and Haugesund, and by Lavprisekspressen to Oslo via Kristiansand.
View over Breiavatnet towards the inner harbour Vågen in Stavanger.
The local bus service in Stavanger is administered by Rogaland Kollektivtrafikk (RKT) under the brand name "Kolumbus". The buses are operated by Boreal Transport. RKT administers all bus routes in Rogaland County.
On 12 January 2009, Kolumbus initiated an express bus service to the large commercial district Forus located south of the city. This service consists of seven direct express routes that run mornings and afternoons. The express buses run from different neighbourhoods in Stavanger directly to Forus, without passing through the city centre, like all other regular routes.
The recently upgraded Jærbanen between Stavanger and Sandnes will be serviced by trains running at a frequency of 4 departures per hour from the 13th of December.
The city has a number of bus services and taxis. There are two tunnel projects planned: Ryfast and Rogfast.
Lysefjorden is popular for hiking. Tourists typically visit places like Prekestolen (aka the Pulpit Rock), and Kjeragbolten. Prekestolen is a massive rock overhanging the fjord (604 meters above). Kjeragbolten is a rock wedged in the cliff approx. 1000 meters above the fjord. The straight fall 1000 meters down to the fjord makes Kjerag a very popular location for BASE jumping.
Not too far from Stavanger, alpine centers are ready for skiers and snowboarders throughout the winter season.
Along the coast south of Stavanger there are a number of large, sandy beaches, including at Sola is within closest reach from the city.
Gamle StavangerOld Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger) is located right next to the city centre and has a collection of eighteenth and 19th century wooden structures.
Stavanger domkirke (St. Svithun's cathedral) was built between 1100 and 1150 by the English bishop Reinald in Anglo-Norman style, and in the late 13th century a new choir was added in Gothic style, with a vaulted roof. The cathedral is the only Norwegian cathedral that is almost unchanged since the 14th century.
The city centre itself is small and intimate, with narrow streets and open spaces protected from car traffic. The open-air vegetable market is one of the very few in Norway where you can buy produce directly from local farmers every working day through the year. Unfortunately the Market has been in decline of recent years, it is now filled with very few stall holders.
The Stavanger Museum is also located in Old Stavanger, commemorating the city's past glory as the herring capital of Norway.
The museum of Archaeology is one of five archaeological museums in Norway. According to the Museum itself it, follows a profile of environmental archaeology and interdisciplinary study, with a scientific staff that includes representatives from archaeology, the natural sciences and modern cultural history.
The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is located at the harbour. The museum reflects the fact that Stavanger has been Norway's oil capital since oil drilling activities started in the North Sea in 1966.