With a population of approx. 130,000, Stavanger is Norway’s fourth largest city. The town is known as Norway's energy capital.
The area in and around Stavanger offers varied, wild and beautiful nature experiences. From steep mountains and lovely fjords to long, wild beaches along the open coastline of Jæren: everything is within easy reach of the city of Stavanger.
Stavanger has always been an international town dependent on the sea and very much influenced by trends from outside. In the Viking Age, Stavanger was a centre of power. Some of Norway’s richest burial finds from this period have been made in this area. In the mid 1600s, large parts of the city burnt down, including the old medieval area.
The ’Old Stavanger’ of today consists of 173 listed and restored wooden houses built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It is one of Northern Europe’s best preserved collections of wooden houses and the city has received several awards for its preservation efforts.
The financial upturn for Stavanger started in the 19th century. Herring fisheries, shipping and the canning industry were the mainstays of Stavanger's economic growth up to the 1960s when the first oil finds were made. This is when the foundations of the modern city of Stavanger were laid. Stavanger became an important administrative centre for the Norwegian petroleum industry’s activities.
The city has several museums and collections, of both local and national interest. The Norwegian Petroleum Museum is the most popular museum in the city and is currently the only petroleum museum in Europe.