Norway’s third largest city is abounding in history. With roots that can be traced back to the 12th century, the bustling metropolis of Stavanger is a beautiful blend of modern culture and ancient civilization. As you roam the city and its outskirts in your motorhome stop and gander at some of the most well preserved historical sites in Northern Europe.
Stavanger Cathedral – The city surrounds this 12th century cathedral that grandly takes over the center of Stavanger. Surround by lush green grounds, the nobility of the cathedral is apparent in the intricate brickwork and stained glass accents. Step inside to see the intricate detailing in the pulpit built in 1658, and a stunning stained glass display of scenes from the New Testament.
Bispekapellett – On the northern side of the city, the chapel to the former palace of the Bishop is still standing tall. Built during the 1300’s, the Bishop’s Chapel has been meticulously restored to highlight the unique architectural elements that were prevalent in buildings constructed during that time.
Valberg tarn – Travel in your motorhome to the Holmen peninsula and you will come to the highest elevated area in the city of Stavanger. Climb the Valberg tarn watchtower for a picturesque view of the city and sea beyond it. Built in 1853, Valberg tarn is now a popular destination for tourists with interesting displays of local art and crafts for sale.
Gamie Stavanger – Translated to “Old Stavanger” this quaint area of the city is the largest surviving wooden house settlement that you will find in all of Northern Europe. Not only do the houses take you back in time, but the small cobblestones streets meander to a number of museums worth exploring if you want to learn a bit more history about this fascinating part of the world.
Ledaal House – A rich red home surrounded by popping purple flowers peeking out from bright green pastures, the Ledaal House epitomizes the lifestyle of Norway’s ancient elite. A summer home built for the Keilland family back in 1799, the stately house still serves as a residence for the royals as well as a museum for the tourists.
Utstein Abbey – You will have to leave the motorhome at the shore and embark on a boat, but the trip over the sea will be well worth it. North of Stavanger are a number of small islands including tiny Klosteroy. The monks must have relished the solitude and tranquility that this remote island provided, and built the Utstein Abbey sometime before the 13th century. Still surrounded by small rock walls, the building and grounds make you feel like you have entered that same period of time.
Preikestolen – Although not built by man, you cannot make mention of a motorhome trip to Stavanger without noting its number one attraction. Just shy of 2,000 feet above the water, “Preacher’s Pulpit” is a natural wonder of flat rock jetting out from the mainland. The views from this vantage point will make you breathless, as will the sheer drop down if you get too close to the edge.
What makes Stavanger such a popular destination for motorhome travelers is that while you are taken back in time during the day, the night life is modern and vibrant, especially down by the shore. This contradiction of sedate and turbulent makes Stavanger a unique location that you’ll quickly learn to love.