Since the days of the Vikings, the sea has played an important role in the success and growth of Stavanger. A popular port of call for cruise ships visiting the stunning scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, Stavanger is located near the southern tip of Norway. The third largest city, after Oslo and Bergen, the city heavily relies on the oil industry of the North Sea.
Are you visiting Stavanger on a cruise, or planning a trip to the city? Here are four places we recommend you visit during your time in Stavanger…
Sverd i Fjell
Towering over the edge of Hafrsfjord, around 6km from the centre of Stavanger, are three giant metallic swords embeded deep in rock. What are they doing here, you ask? Unveiled by King Olav in 1983, the monument pays tribute to the unification of Norway.
In what is practically a Disney fairytale waiting to be written, Harald Fairhair ruled the kingdom of Vestfold, and proposed to Gyda, the daughter of Eirik, the king of Hordaland. She rejected him and refused to marry Harald until he was king of all of Norway. So, in 866, Harald made his first conquest to unite Norway and win the love of Gyda. In 872, just six years later, Norway was successfully united, after Harald’s victory at Hafrsfjord.
Situated high above Stavanger, the rather hideous looking Ullandhaug communications tower, built in the 1960s, may seem a weird recommendation to mention, but the panoramic views overlooking the city, the North Sea, and the Fjords are simply breathtaking!
On the main road near the tower, keep an eye out for a few ancient Viking homes, which are open to the public.
Gamle Stavanger, the old town of the city was almost completely destroyed at one point. Thankfully the quaint streets and buildings were preserved and it is now a popular place to visit. Despite its popularity, it never feels crowded, and you’ll often find yourself walking along desolate streets. No cars are allowed along the tiny cobbled streets – so small that they had to build a dedicated fire truck for the area – which makes this quaint area look like a town which time forgot.
Stavanger has an unusual connection with Winchester in southern England. Construction of Stavanger Cathedral is believed to have began around 1100 by the same person who built Winchester Cathedral. As such, the Cathedral was consecrated to once Bishop of Winchester, and patron saint, Saint Swithun and is the only St Swithun’s Church located outside of England. The small cathedral is by no means as grand or as big as that of Winchester’s, but it’s a great piece of English architecture that can be found in Norway.
All four of these locations can be visited on Cruising Excursion’s ‘Stavanger City Highlights & The 3 Swords Tour‘. With over 12,000 unforgettable tours available in 700 ports around the world, and savings of up to 60% compared to the cruise lines, as well as a guarantee to get you back to the ship on time, Cruise Capital highly recommends booking your next cruise excursion with Cruising Excursions.
DISCLAIMER: Cruise Capital received two complimentary places on the ‘Stavanger City Highlights & 3 Swords Tour‘ courtesy of Cruising Excursions. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. For more information on Cruising Excursions and to book your next tour, visit cruisingexcursions.com.