SURROUNDINGS. To the W of the town rises the hill of Byhaugen (76 m 250 ft; fine views), extending as far as the Ryfylkefjell to the NE. 3 5 km (2 miles) SW of the town is the Ullandhaug (131 m 417 ft) with a telecommunications tower (lookout platform) and a plaque commemorating Harald the Fair-Haired’s naval victory in 872, which gave him control of the whole country. 10 km (6 miles) NW of the town, at Viste, are the remains of Stone Age troglodytic dwellings.
In the fjord to the N of the town are several islands of varying size. On the little island of Klosteroy, which is connected with the larger Mosteroy by a bridge, is the Augustinian abbey of Utstein (first mentioned in the records in the 13th c.), the best preserved monastic house in Norway. Klosteroy can be reached from Stavanger by motorboat.
Tothe E of Stavanger, on the far side ofthe Hogsford (pleasant trip by motorboat from the Strandkai), is the Lysefjord, a cleft in the mountains 37 km (23 miles) long, 0-5-2 km (550-2200 yds) wide and up to 457 m (1500 ft) deep. The fjord is enclosed on both sides by sheer walls of rock, almost entirely bare of vegetation, rising to 1 000 m (3000 ft) or more. The most striking feature is the Pulpit (Prekestoen), 597 m (1 960 ft) high, which can be reached from Stavanger by Road 13. 24 km (1 5 miles) from Stavanger, the road comes to Lauvvik on the Hegsfjord (ferry to Oanes), and continues on the far side of the fjord to Jossang, where a minor road bears off on the right to the Prekestol hut, then, after a climb of about 2 hours, to the Prekestol.
The wooden stave churches of Norway are the most famous and characteristic achievements of medieval Norwegian architecture. The distinguishing feature of their construction in contrast to the log-cabin technique in which the timber is laid horizontally is the use of vertical planks or staves which are either anchored in the ground or connected to a horizontal base.
There is evidence of the building of stave churches (Norwegian stavkirker) in the 9th c. but their period of greatest popularity was in the 12th and 13th c. at a time when, together with the advance of Christianity, the technique of building in
Of the 31 stave churches in Norway which still survive, 27 are on their original site. Four have been taken down and reerected elsewhere. In addition, one church has been re-erected in Germany.
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