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Gamle Stavanger ('Old Stavanger') is an area of the city of Stavanger in the county of Rogaland, Norway which consists of 173 wooden houses that was built in the 18th century and in the beginning of the 19th century. The area includes the Norwegian Canning museum which displays a typical factory from the 1920s.
In the years after World War II, a new city plan was created for Stavanger. It included razing most of the old wooden buildings in the city centre, and replacing it with new modern structures in concrete. One single voice spoke up against this plan, and today it is recognized that Gamle Stavanger owes its existence to Einar Hedén, then City Architect of Stavanger. In 1956 the city council voted to conserve part of the old city centre.
The area selected for conservation was the one considered the least desirable, consisting of small rundown wooden buildings located on the western side of Vågen. This area has what is considered North Europe's best kept wood houses, from both the 19th and 20th century. Some of the houses are owned by the municipality, but most are privately owned. Over the years the area has changed from seedy to trendy, and today is considered a choice location for the urban-minded with a sense of history.
On two occasions Gamle Stavanger has grown, so that it now covers more than 250 buildings.
In 1975, the Council of Europe's European Architectural Year, Gamle Stavanger, together with Nusfjord and Røros, was shown as an example of how conservation of old buildings may well coincide with use, and how rehabilitation can be done without loss of character.
- Gamle Stavanger Region Stavanger, retrieved 2 April 2013 (Norwegian)