Fredriksvern or Stavern has probably been a harbor since ancient times. The name is found in written sources the 11th century and in the 12th century it is referred to as a good fishing harbor. The military activities in Stavern began with building of Staverns Fortress, part of a major construction of Norwegian Fortresses which took place from 1675 to 1679 under Christian IV. Citadellet Fort was built in the 1680s by count Fredrik Gyldenløve and had an important role during the last Nordic war from 1709 to 1720.
During the winter of 1748-1749 Fredrik V ordered construction of a shipyard and a drydock in Norway and in 1750 the first Norwegian naval command base was constructed. The king did so as a defensive measure in the event of a war with Sweden. A naval station in Norway could support land strength in the event of a Swedish invasion by cutting off naval transport of Swedish troops and supplies, reducing the risk of such an invasion. Fredriksværns Værft (the shipyard) was finished in 1750 and a number of vessels were built there, including a frigate in 1775. Fredriksvern Church was finished in 1756 as the garrison church in a style with influences from both Renaissance and Baroque.
The main base for the Common Fleet was at Copenhagen, but when Norway and Denmark split in 1814 Fredriksvern became the main base for the Royal Norwegian Navy. The Common fleet had been decimated by the British robbery in 1807 and the Norwegians got the lesser share of what was left when the union was ended. It soon became apparent that major expansion of the navy had to take place. Fredriksvern had one strategic flaw, it was difficult to defend from a land based attack. In addition its capacity was too small for the new expanded navy. Already in 1815 it was decided to look for a new location for the main naval base. But Norway was extremely poor and both the fleet expansion and the building of the new base was delayed. During the 1830s a new main naval base was constructed at Horten, but Fredriksvern continued to be an important naval base and remained active as an air force academy until 2002.References:
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.