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Old Stavanger is protected and preserved

In many ways, Gamle Stavanger is almost like a time capsule. 173 small, captivating wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, with white-painted facades. The houses in Gamle Stavanger are protected, and a few are listed. The largest and most beautiful houses are located in the centre of Vågen, while further out the houses become slightly smaller in size. Explore seafront treasures such as Nedre Strandgate 17 and 19, home to the Stavanger Maritime Museum.

Several houses in Gamle Stavanger have stood elsewhere before

In the past, it was common to take the house with you when people moved from one place to another. This applies to several of the houses in Old Stavanger. The houses are logged in timber, which means they were easy to dismantle and take with them when they moved.

Who lived in Stavanger's old town?

Back then, it was the labourers who lived in Old Stavanger, working in the many herring and canning factories or at sea. Families from poorer backgrounds grew up here, and they often lived with many people together under the same roof. Several houses have arches on the roof built to extend the living space to make room for several tenants. These arches are called Stavanger arches. Today, the story is completely different; those who own houses in Gamle Stavanger are not from the poorest in society, but rather the opposite.

Old Stavanger in spring © Mathilde Oord/

Old Stavanger is worthy of preservation according to UNESCO

Stavanger has received several awards for the preservation of Old Stavanger. It is a popular residential area and the neighbourhood has several galleries and craft shops. Here you will find both the Stavanger Maritime Museum and IDDIS, the Norwegian Printing Museum and the Norwegian Canning Museum. Gamle Stavanger was designated by UNESCO as one of Norway's cities worthy of preservation in the 1975 Architectural Heritage Year.

Learn more about Stavanger's history here:

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