Stavangar Norway

Lets take a Walk through an Historic city in Norway

Lets take a walk in Historic Stavanger, Norway’s fourth biggest city, behind Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. Situated in Rogaland county on Norway’s west coast, there is something unique that sets Stavanger apart from the country’s other larger cities. It is a walk-able city and most attractions are easily reached.

A large part of Stavanger is made up of timber structures. Lets take a walk to view some of the 8,000 wooden houses, and the largest wooden city in northern Europe. Walk up the narrow streets and enjoy the unique beauty of the old town.

Walk up a hill to the white houses
Walk up the hill to enjoy the white houses.
white wooden houses in Old Town Stavangar Norway

A large proportion of the city’s wooden houses were built in the eighteenth or nineteenth century. The oldest of them are perfectly preserved in the city’s historic Gamle Stavanger or Old Town.

white wooden house in Old Town Stavangar Norway

Many homes feature beautiful flowers in pots and baskets. Near these historic wooden houses, are colorful flowers and gardens, favorite places for bees and butterflies!

bee on Purple flowers
Can you see the Bee?
Butterfly on blue flowers
Butterfly

St Swithun’s Cathedral, the oldest Cathedral in Norway.

Side view of Stavangar Cathedral

Stavangar has a beautiful Cathedral, the only Cathedral from the Middle Ages that has kept its original architecture, and the only Norwegian Cathedral in continuous use since the 1300s. Norway’s best-kept Cathedral is located within walking distance from the Stavanger harbor. According to tradition Stavanger Cathedral was built in 1125 after Sigurd Jorsalfarer named Stavanger a Cathedral city.

carved wooden pulpit
Carved Pulpit in Stavangar Cathedral
carved wooden pulpit
Closer view of carvings

The most notable feature of the interior is the Pulpit that is post Reformation and dates back to the 1650s, Pulpit carvings cover the history of the Bible from Adam and Eve to the crowning of Christ, all carved on the Pulpit by a Scotsman, Andrew Smith,

Sidewalk Art in Stavangar is quite impressive; look closely are the people real or are they works of art?

Painting of little girl
Is this a little girl or a painting?
Picture of man
Is this a man in front of the sign?

The Valberg tower (Valbergtårnet) was constructed from 1850 to 1853 and was the former observation tower of Stavanger. The tower was the permanent lodging of the watchmen in Stavanger. Among their duties was to alert the people in town when there was a fire. Tobias Sandstol was the last watchman and worked 18 years until 1922.

Former Watch Tower
Valberg Tower
colorful houses and shops
Brightly Colored Houses and Shops are located across the Fjord from the White Wooden Houses of the Old Town

Outside of town are the famous buried swords of Hafrsfjord. This historic site commemorates the battle of 872 AD. and where Harald Fairhair gathered Norway into one kingdom in the same year. The swords symbolize peace, unity and freedom, and buried in stone not to be used anymore, to encourage people to live in Peace.

iron swords standing in stone
3 Swords of Harsfjord

Nara Japan

Nara Japan

Nara Park (奈良公園 Nara Kōen) is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan.. Established in 1880 it is one of the oldest parks in Japan.  Nara is known for the oldest, largest and most interesting temples and the 1,200 wild sika deer (シカ or 鹿 shika) that freely roam around in the park, protected and classified as natural treasures. The official size of the park is about 1,240 acres, the area including the grounds of Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, and Kasuga Shrine, which are either on the edge or surrounded by Nara Park, is as large as 1,600 acres.

It was during Nara’s time as the capital of Japan (710-794) that Buddhism was established as a state religion and began to spread to other parts of the country.

Nara’s temples include such world famous UNESCO World Heritage listed temples such as Kofukuji, Todaiji  Kasuga Shrine and Yakushiji which will be featured in this website.  Please click on the pictures for more information on the photos.

Kōfuku-ji has its origin as a temple that was established in 669 by Kagami-no-Ōkimi (鏡大君), the wife of Fujiwara no Kamatari, wishing for her husband’s recovery from illness. Its original site was in Yamashina, Yamashiro Province (present-day Kyoto). In 672, the temple was moved to Fujiwara-kyō, the first planned Japanese capital to copy the orthogonal grid pattern of Chang’an. In 710 the temple was dismantled for the second time and moved to its present location, on the east side of the newly constructed capital, Heijō-kyō, today’s Nara.

Tōdai-ji (東大寺, Eastern Great Temple)[1] is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden) houses the world’s largest bronze statue of the Buddha[2] Vairocana,[3] known in Japanese as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism.

Kasuga Grand Shrine (春日大社 Kasuga-taisha) is a Shinto shrine in the city of Nara, in Nara Prefecture, Japan.[1] Established in 768 CE and rebuilt several times over the centuries, it is the shrine of the Fujiwara family. The interior is famous for its many bronze lanterns, as well as the many stone lanterns that lead up the shrine

The path to Kasuga Shrine passes through Deer Park where the deer are able to roam freely and are believed to be sacred messengers of the Shinto gods that inhabit the shrine and surrounding mountainous terrain. Kasuga Shrine and the deer have been featured in several paintings and works of art of the Nambokucho Period.[2] Over three thousand stone lanterns line the way.

The original Yakushi-ji was built in Fujiwara-kyō, Japan’s capital in the Asuka period, commissioned by Emperor Tenmu in 680 to pray for recovery from illness for his consort, who succeeded him as Empress Jitō. This act of building temples in devotion to Buddhist figures was a common practice among Japanese nobility when Buddhism was first imported from China and Korea. Emperor Tenmu had died by the time Empress Jitō completed the complex around 698; and it was disassembled and moved to Nara eight years after the Imperial Court settled in what was then the new capital.