STAVANGER, a seaport of Norway, capital of Stavanger ami (county), on the west coast in 59 N. (that of the Orkney Islands and northern Labrador). Pop. (1900), 30,541. It lies on the south side of the Bukken Fjord, and has a picturesque harbour well sheltered by islands. The town is one of the oldest in Norway, founded in the 8th or 9th century, but the present town is modern, though narrow, winding streets and wooden houses give it an antique appearance. It became the seat of a bishopric in the 13th century. Though the bishop's see was removed to Christiansand in 1685, the Romanesque cathedral church of St Swithun, founded by the English bishop Reinald in the end of the 11th century, and rebuilt after being burned down in 1272, remains, and, next to the cathedral of Trondhjem, is the most interesting stone church in Norway. There is an ornate painted pulpit of carved wood (1658). The old episcopal palace of Kongsgaard is now a Latin school. There are a theatre, an interesting museum of antiquities, natural history and art; and a picturesque park (Bjergsted). The industries of the town and its environs (Sandnaes, etc.) are prosperous, including factories for preserved foods, woollens and linens, lime, iodine from seaweed, and domestic commodities. The fisheries are important for herring, mackerel, sprats, cod, salmon, lobsters and anchovies. On Rennes Island in the fjord, over against the town, there is a Cheviot sheep-breeding farm under government auspices. The imports consist principally of coal, salt, grain and flour, groceries, textiles, wood, and mineral oils. The most important export is fish, other items being seaweed, marble, preserved foods, butter and margarine and infusorial earth.
Stavanger is the first port of call for northward-bound passenger steamers from Hull and Newcastle, and has regular services from all the Norwegian coast towns, from Hamburg, etc. A railway runs south along the wild and desolate coast of Jaederen, one of the few low and unprotected shores in Norway, the scene of many wrecks. Stavanger commands a considerable tourist traffic. It is the starting-point of a favourite tour, embracing the fine valley of the Sand River, the great Lake Suldal and the Bratlandsdal. The Lyse Fjord, a branch of the Bukken Fjord, is a fine narrow inlet enclosed by precipitous mountains. Stavanger is the birthplace of Kjelland the novelist (1849).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)