Sightseeing in Stavanger: Exploring the Hidden Gem of Norway
When it comes to visiting Norway, the rough majority of tourists opt to go to the country’s capital or its astonishingly beautiful city of Bergen. Frequently, visitors also look in the direction of Tromsø, the northern capital of Norway and a popular tourist destination (in winter especially). However, only a handful of tourists turn their eyes to Stavanger, a city that not so long ago has been named as the cultural city of Europe. This article will help you find out what you should see during sightseeing in Stavanger, a city with an almost 900-year long history.
Most Popular Attraction in the Rogaland Region
Stavanger is Rogaland’s administrative center, and, therefore, it should not be surprising that the Pulpit Rock, a tourist attraction that draws hundreds of thousands of trekkers every year, is often associated with the region of Stavanger. The Pulpit Rock is actually a sharp, abrupt cliff that overhangs a beautiful, deep fjord and offers prospects on the marvelous landscape from its highest viewing point. Actually, this site is, indeed, unbelievably popular and appears to be Norway’s top attraction for foreign visitors – such popularity is a reason why we frequently mention the Pulpit Rock in our articles (here in particular).
The Pulpit Rock is not as high as it may seem from first sight – only 604 meters. Yet, you will have to spend a good 3 hours on getting to the top and a few hours on the way back – though, the time may vary depending on your physical form and training. Be sure that this attraction is not that difficult to climb and is accessible by almost anyone who is willing to attempt to get to the top. Yet, Rogaland’s administrative center also offers plenty of touristic opportunities for those visitors who do not want to undertake such an activity.
Sightseeing in Stavanger and the City’s Outstanding Sites
Regardless of your preferences and purposes of visiting Stavanger, your sightseeing in Stavanger must definitely start and end in the Stavanger Old Town, also known as Gamle Stavanger. The Old Town is located right over the harbor’s western shore and appears to be among the must-see sites in this city. Promenading between the rows of white houses that date back to the late 18th century, have been perfectly preserved and adorned with colorful flower boxes, is a special delight. Cobblestone pathways add a shade of elegance to this unforgettable site.
Among the other city’s tourist attractions, Stavanger Domkirke stands out particularly bright. Actually, this site appears to be the most underrated by tourists – this medieval cathedral (made only of stone) was founded around 1125, making it Norway’s oldest cathedral that has been preserved in its original form. Indeed, the 1272 fire had prompted a grand renovation of the church, and restorations that took place in the 1860s and 1940 resulted in eliminating some of the architectural features of this church. This Domkirke contains Anglo-Norman, Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic elements and is considered to have been preserved in its original form, despite some slight changes throughout its history.
When it comes to historic buildings in this cozy Norwegian city, you should definitely have a look at Ledaal and Breidablikk during your sightseeing in Stavanger. Breidablikk (the address: Eiganesveien 40a) was built for a wealthy shipowner named Lars Berentsen. The building’s interior has been preserved well since the 19th century and includes decorative objects, numerous old books, and ancient farming implements. Ledaal (the address: Eiganesveien 45) appears to be quite older, as its construction occurred in the period between 1799 and 1803. The construction of Ledaal was commissioned by another wealthy shipowner named Gabriel Schanche Kielland. The building has been restored (not so long ago) and features out-and-outer antique furniture while being used as a summer home and the royal residence.
Yet above all, Stavanger can boast a large number of museums that are located in this cozy city. If there is a museum you wish to visit during your sightseeing in Stavanger, it must be the Norwegian Petroleum Museum. Actually, it is understandable that such the museum’s name and theme may somewhat discourage you from visiting it or even scare you off. Yet, this museum, located in the “oil capital” of Norway, explores the history of oil extraction in this Scandinavian country, portrays tragedies that have occurred (namely, the 1980 drilling-rig tragedy), and narrates about the lives of ordinary workers in the oil industry. A large deal of its exhibitions is also dedicated to renewables, climate change, and natural history. A good balance between describing the technical side of exploration and the workers’ lives is supplemented by a number of documentaries, huge models of oil platforms, stunning architecture, and high-tech displays. You can be sure that this museum is worth your visit.
Stavanger is also a city that contains a lot of treasures for fanciers of history. Such tourists should definitely visit at least a couple of the following museums during sightseeing in Stavanger: Canning Museum, Stavanger Museum, Stavanger Bymuseum, Arkeologisk Museum, and Norwegian Natural History Museum. Other worthy museums include the Norwegian Museum of Childhood and Stavanger Kunstmuseum.
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