Learn about Stavanger’s natural history, explore the inner workings of an old fish cannery and play games that date back to the Stone Age at this multi-site museum.
The Stavanger Museum is a collection of museums and historical buildings situated at various locations throughout the city. The museum’s collections are wide-ranging, covering diverse fields from the natural world, art, maritime history and industry. Moving between the various museum sites is also great way to discover some of Stavanger’s heritage buildings and diverse neighborhoods.
Start your visit at the Stavanger Museum’s main building, which focuses on the city’s natural and cultural history. Here, in the natural history exhibit, you’ll find wildlife displays and a large collection of preserved animals, including a four-legged chicken! Head to the cultural history exhibitions to discover the history of Stavanger from 1125 to current times. At The Norwegian Children’s Museum learn about the history of childhood and play with toys from throughout the ages, including games which originated in the Stone Age.
At the Stavanger Maritime Museum, find displays which bring to life two centuries of maritime history. The collection has hundreds of model ships, paintings and artifacts to explore, as well as replicas of a 20th-century general store, sail loft and merchant’s apartment. Nearby, The Norwegian Canning Museum traces Stavanger’s fish canning industry. Here, you can see antique machinery in all its noisy glory and sample freshly smoked sardines.
Art connoisseurs will appreciate the extensive collection of Norwegian and international art at the Stavanger Art Museum. Its collection includes more than 70 oil paintings and watercolors by the celebrated Norwegian artist Lars Hertervig. There’s also a sculpture garden with work by Antony Gormley, among others.
Stavanger Museum also includes a collection of historical buildings. Visit Ledaal, the official residence of Norway’s royal family during their visits to Stavanger. Local ship owner Gabriel Schanche Kielland built the house between 1799 and 1803. Opposite is Breidablikk, a Swiss-style mansion built in 1881 by the shipping merchant Lars Berensten.
Pick up a map showing the location of each museum at the main building of the Stavanger Museum, which is a five-minute walk from the city center. The opening times of each museum vary; check the Stavanger Museum’s official website for further information.