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 is a city and municipality in the county of Rogalandmarker, Norwaymarker. Stavanger was established as a municipality 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). The then rural municipalities of Hetland and Madlamarker merged with Stavanger 1 January 1965.

Stavanger municipality has a population of 121,610 (2009), but there are 189,828 (2009) people living in the Stavanger conurbation, making Stavanger the de facto third largest city in Norway. Stavanger is also the centre of the Stavanger metropolitan areamarker which has a population of 297,569. The city is commonly referred to as the Petroleum Capital of Norway.

The city is a combination of new and old influences. There is a significant foreign influence with the foreign oil interests, the NATO Joint Warfare Centermarker and in recent years a large immigration from Eastern Europe. Norway's oldest cathedral, Stavanger domkirkemarker, is situated in the city centre. Stavanger has several beautiful lakes, which are popular recreation areas. Breiavatnet is located in the heart of Stavanger, while and Stokkavatnet are situated right outside.


Stavanger fulfilled an urban role prior to its status as city (1425), from around the time the Stavanger bishopric was established in the 1120s. A number of historians have argued convincingly that North-Jæren was an economic and military centre as far back as the 800-900s with the consolidation of the nation at the battle of Hafrsfjordmarker around 872. Stavanger grew into a centre of church administration and an important south-west coast market town around 1100–1300. With the reformation in 1536, Stavanger's role as a religious centre declined, and the establishment of Kristiansandmarker in the early 17th century led to the relocation of the bishopric. However, rich herring fisheries in the 19th century gave the city new life.

The city's history is a continuous alternation between upswings and recessions.

For long periods of time its most important industries have been shipping, shipbuilding, the fish canning industry and associated subcontractors.

In 1969, a new upswing started as oil was first discovered in the North Sea.

After much discussion, Stavanger was chosen to be the on-shore center for the oil industry on the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and a period of hectic growth followed.

Origin of the name

The Norse form of the name was Stafangr. The origin of the name has been discussed for decades, and the most used interpretation is that it originally was the name of an inlet (now called Vågen). The first element of the name is stafr m 'staff, stick'. This could refer to the form of the inlet, but also to the form of the mountain Valberget (Staven 'the staff' is a common name of high and steep mountains in Norway). The last element is angr m 'inlet, fjord'.


The coat-of-arms is based upon a seal from 1591. It shows a branch of vine (Vitis vinifera). The meaning and representation of the vine is unknown.


The boroughs of Stavanger
Stavanger city centre
Stavanger is divided into 7 boroughs.

Stavanger is also partitioned into 22 parts and 218 smaller parts.

The Department of Adolescence and Quality of Life, in the municipality (Oppvekst og levekår i Stavanger kommune) has been split into 4 parts. These are independent of the borders of the boroughs. They are Eiganes and Tasta, Hinna and Hillevåg, Storhaug, Hundvåg and Madla. The Department of Labour and Wealth (Arbeids og velferdsetaten - NAV) which was opened 3 July. 2006, also uses this partitioning.


The city is located on a peninsula on the southwest coast of Norway. The climate is maritime mild temperate (marine west coast - cfb) and rather windy, with all monthly temperature averages above freezing, and precipitation 1200 mm/year. Summers are pleasant and lowland areas in and around Stavanger have the longest growing season in Norway (source 1961-90). Temperatures have tended to be higher in more recent years.


Starting in the 1880s, industry grew in Stavanger, primarily based on treatment and exports of fish and fish-products. The industry was however one-sided which left it vulnerable to changes in demand and was therefore particularly hard hit by the economic depressions between World War I and World War II.

After World War II, the canning-industry hit difficulties. Increased competition from abroad and old machinery led to decrease which was only partially compensated by an increase in shipping and boat-building.

In the 1960s, exploratory oil-drilling in the North Sea changed the situation for Stavanger. It is located close to the oil-fields, and Stavanger with its good harbour and plane-connections was well-positioned to take advantage of the increased activity.

After petroleum-exploration and production became the most important business sector in the Stavanger area during the mid 1970s, business and cultural climate has changed considerably.

The largest oil company in Stavanger is mainly state-owned oil company StatoilHydromarker who have their headquarters located in the suburban area of Forusmarker, located between neighboring Sandnesmarker and Stavanger.

The city of Stavanger is now running out of land for future development for housing and industry. To rectify this, the administration has approached the neighboring municipalities to propose a merger. This has not been welcomed by in particular Sandnesmarker. Thus, it seems evident that the growth in the area will take place outside the boundaries of Stavanger.

The NATO Joint Warfare Centremarker is located at Jåttå.


Access to Stavanger is provided through the Sørlandsbanen railway, and the road E39 from Kristiansandmarker and E39 north on the west coast, Stavanger Airport, Solamarker with connection to domestic and international destinations, including Frankfurtmarker, Amsterdammarker, Londonmarker, Aberdeenmarker, Manchestermarker and Copenhagenmarker. Also, located outside Stavanger, there is a port serving international ferries to Hirtshalsmarker, Denmarkmarker. Local ferries go to Tau and Kvitsøymarker, while fast passenger boats go to many villages and islands between the main routes from Stavanger to Haugesundmarker and Saudamarker.

Public transport

The local bus service in Stavanger is administered by Rogaland Kollektivtrafikk (RKT) under the brand name "Kolumbus". The buses are operated by Veolia. RKT administers all bus routes in Rogaland County.

In the last few years Kolumbus has revitalized it's marketing strategy with focus on the four most frequently used routes; 1, 2, 3 and 4. The buses used on these routes have been upgraded with a new design to appeal to the users.

On the 12th of 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.

Distance to some cities


Stavanger has several schools for the expatriate community including the British International School of Stavanger and the International School of Stavanger.

Stavanger has one university, the University of Stavanger with about 8,000 students. The university was formerly a university college. It was granted status as University on 1 January 2005.

The population of Stavanger has a high percentage of university educated persons, with 31.3% of those above the age of 16 having higher education, compared to the national average of 24.2% (2006 figures).


European Capital of Culture 2008

Stavanger and its region, along with Liverpoolmarker, United Kingdommarker, was selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2008. The Stavanger2008 vision is expressed through the concept "Open Port". This can be understood both in its English sense - "an open harbour", - and in its Norwegian meaning of "an open gate". Open Port – Openness towards the world. The region and its people is supposed to be even more open and inclusive towards art, ideas and opportunities.

Every May, Stavanger is host to MaiJazz, the Stavanger International Jazz Festival. The International Chamber Music Festival takes place every August. Stavanger was the host port of the Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Race in 1997 and 2004.

Sport and Recreation

The largest local football club Viking FK, plays in the Norwegian Premier League (2007). The club plays its home matches at the football stadium, Viking Stadionmarker, which was opened in 2004.

Stavanger Idrettsforening (Commonly referred to as SIF), currently play football in the Norwegian first division.

FK Vidar, currently play football in the Norwegian third division.

Stavanger Oilers plays in the Norwegian ice hockey elite league, GET-ligaen. The handball team Stavanger Håndball plays in the Norwegian second division.

Stavanger is the host of the 2009 beach volleyball SWATCH FIVB World Championships.


Norway is a country renowned for its love of rock and metal music. Stavanger is the home of the gothic metal bands Theatre of Tragedy, Tristania, Sirenia and the singer Liv Kristine, the heavy metal band Stator and the black metal band Gehenna , among others. Janove Ottesen and Geir Zahl founding members of the alternative rockband Kaizers Orchestra both lived in Stavanger as well. Stavanger also has a brass band which competes regionally.


Stavanger has also been the shooting location for Norwegian movies such as Mongoland and Mannen som elsket Yngve (The Man Who Loved Yngve), which received some recognition by Variety magazine.


Outdoor activities

Lysefjordenmarker is popular for hiking. Tourists typically visit places like Prekestolen (aka the Pulpit Rock), and Kjeragboltenmarker. Prekestolen is a massive rock overhanging the fjord (604 meters above). Kjeragboltenmarker is a rock wedged in the cliff approx. 1000 meters above the fjord. The straight fall 1000 meters down to the fjord makes Kjeragmarker 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.

City Centre

Old Stavanger (Gamle Stavanger) is located right next to the city centre and has a collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century wooden structures.

Stavanger domkirkemarker (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.


The Stavanger Museum is also located in Old Stavanger, commemorating the city's past glory as the herring capital of Norway.

The museum of Archaelogy is one of five archaeological museums in Norwaymarker. 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.

Notable people

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Stavanger has several sister cities; they are:


  1. Stavanger - The Norwegian Petroleum Capital
  2. Stavanger kommune - Byhistorie
  3. Stavanger kommune - Byhistorie
  4. List of boroughs in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger
  5. [1]
  7. [2]
  8. [3]
  10. British International School of Stavanger
  11. Norway, Stavanger: International School of Stavanger
  12. University of Stavanger - Norway - About us
  13. SSB: Figures on Stavanger Municipality
  14. Variety Magazine Review of "The man who loved Yngve"
  15. Statistics - Stavanger BASE Klubb
  16. Beaches of Rogaland in west Norway - Stavanger Travel
  17. Stavanger Museum
  18. Norsk Oljemuseum

External links

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