The Kerimäki Church is the largest wooden church in the world. Designed by Anders Fredrik Granstedt and built between 1844 and 1847, the church has a length of 45 metres (148 ft), a width of 42 m (138 ft), a height of 37 m (121 ft) and a seating capacity of more than 3,000. Altogether there can be 5,000 people at a time in the church.
It has been rumoured that the size of the church was the result of a miscalculation when it was built (supposedly the architect was working in centimetres, which the builder took to be inches, which are 2.54 times larger). Further studies, however, have shown that the church was actually intended to be as big as it is, so it could easily accommodate a half of the area's population at the same time.
During wintertime, services are held in a smaller "winter church" (built in 1953), since the main building has no heating.
Stavanger Cathedral is Norway's oldest cathedral. Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.
In 1682, king Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, king Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior was considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939-1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999. Andrew Lawrenceson Smith is famous for his works here.