Stavanger /stəˈvæŋər/ (Norwegian pronunciation: [stɑˈʋɑŋər] is a city and municipality in Norway. The city is the third-largest urban zone and metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighbouring Sandnes) and the administrative centre of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year Stavanger cathedral was completed. Stavanger’s core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city’s cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city’s population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.
Stavanger is today considered the center of the oil industry in Norway and is one of Europe‘s energy capitals and is often called the oil capital. Forus Business Park located on the municipal boundary between Stavanger, Sandnes and Sola and is one of the largest business parks with 2,500 companies and nearly 40,000 jobs. Scandinavia‘s largest company, Statoil, has its headquarters at Forus in Stavanger, and in addition, several international oil and gas company ‘s Norwegian office in the city . As a result, the city is considered to be very international, with an immigrant share of 20.2% . Several state actors Petoro, NPD and PSA also have their head offices in Stavanger. Stavanger is also home to several institutions of higher education, where theUniversity of Stavanger (UiS) is the largest. The University offers several PhD programs, including petroleum engineering and offshore technology. The town is also the residence of the city to Stavanger University Hospital (SUS), Western, Norwegian Petroleum Museum, International Research Institute, Rogaland Theatre, the Culinary Institute and boot camp KNM Harald.
The city’s rapid population growth in the late 1900s was primarily a result of Norway’s booming offshore oil industry. Today the oil industry is a key industry in the Stavanger region and the city is widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. The largest company in the Nordic region, Norwegian energy company Statoil is headquartered in Stavanger. Multiple educational institutions for higher education are located in Stavanger. The largest of these is the University of Stavanger.
Domestic and international military installations are located in Stavanger, among these is the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation‘sJoint Warfare Center. Other international establishments, and especially local branches of foreign oil and gas companies, contribute further to a significant foreign population in the city. Immigrants make up 11.3% of Stavanger’s population. Stavanger has since the early 2000s consistently had an unemployment rate significantly lower than the Norwegian and European average. In 2011, the unemployment rate was less than 2%. The city is also among those that frequent various lists of expensive cities in the world, and Stavanger has even been ranked as the world’s most expensive city by certain indexes.
Stavanger is served by international airport Stavanger Airport, Sola, which offers flights to cities in most major European countries, as well as a limited number of intercontinental charter flights. The airport was named most punctual European regional airport byflightstats.com in 2010.
Every two years, Stavanger organizes the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS), which is the second largest exhibition and conference for the energy sector. Gladmat food festival is also held each year and is considered to be one of Scandinavia’s leading food festivals. The city is also known for being one of the nation’s premier culinary clusters. Stavanger 2008 European Capital of Culture.
Origin of the name
The Old Norse form of the name was Stafangr. The origin of the name has been discussed for decades, and the most used interpretation is that it originally was the name of the inlet now called Vågen, which was the original site of the city, on the east shore of the bay.
The first element of the name is stafr meaning ‘staff, branch’. This could refer to the form of the inlet, but also to the form of the mountain Valberget (Staven meaning ‘the staff,’ is a common name of high and steep mountains in Norway). The last element is angr meaning ‘inlet, bay’. Facing the North Sea, Stavanger has always been economically dependent on its access to the sea.
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