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Season: all year. Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger) is on the west side of the Stavanger harbour and consists of 173 wooden houses that were built in the end of the 1700s and the beginning of the 1800s.
The wooden city of Stavanger is however, much more than just Old Stavanger. The wooden city of Stavanger entails around 8 000 houses in several different styles – from empire, to Art Nouveau and functionalism. The wooden housing is mainly from Stavanger’s settlements prior to the Second World War. It is however often the small area just west of the harbour called Old Stavanger that is pointed out as representative for the entire wooden city of Stavanger.
Stavanger actually boasts the largest collection of wooden houses in Europe, and has received several awards for the protection of Old Stavanger. This part of Stavanger was one of three pilot projects in Norway during the Arkitekturvernår (Architectural Heritage year) in 1975. Old Stavanger is a popular residential area and this part of the city has galleries and handicraft shops. You also find Stavanger Maritime Museum and Norwegian Canning Museum in this part of the city.
The area is characterised by residents who are proud of their houses and gardens; most houses are decorated in spring and summer with gorgeous sea of flowers and trimmed gardens. Most houses are small and painted in white. In the old days, it was actually common to bring along your house when you moved from one place to another, and this is actually the case for several of the houses in Old Stavanger. The houses are logged in timber, and they were therefore easy to dismantle and bring along when they moved. Habitually it was people from Ryfylke and the islands north of Stavanger who ventured into the city to find work during the large herring period. They would typically come over in their rowing boats, and they would bring their houses! Today most houses are painted in white; however, it is commonly known that during that time most houses were painted in yellow or read. White paint was too expensive for a working class family. They would typically live confined in these small houses – often several families lived under the same roof.
Guided tours of Stavanger during summer
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