Old town Stavanger is located on the west side of Vågen in the city centre and comprises 173 wooden buildings. It is often the small area just west of the harbour called Old Stavanger that is pointed out as representative for the entire wooden city of Stavanger. This area have 173 wooden buildings from the turn of the 18th century. Most of them are small, white cottages. The wooden city of Stavanger entails around 8 000 houses in several different styles – from empire, to Art Nouveau and functionalism. The wooden housing is mainly from Stavanger’s settlements prior to the Second World War. In the old days, it was quite common to bring your house if you moved from one place to another. This is the case for several of the houses in Old Stavanger. The houses were logged in timber, making it fairly easy to dismantle and bring along when moving. Several of the houses have an arch on top of the roof built to expand the living quarters. It has a flat top and is asymmetrically placed on top of the roof. It is referred to as the Stavanger arch.
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