Stavern has kept it's special charm with its' narrow streets and old houses
Norway's smile is one of its' nicknames. Artist town and Jonas Lie's town are others.
Stavern is a favorite with thousands of tourists and artists. A meteorological phenomenon blesses Stavern with 200 sunny days every year and the weather is possibly the reason why meteorologists make sure of securing Stavernsodden Light for their holidays. In Stavern the summer lasts "all summer long". Spring and Autumn also charm with sunny days where sea and sky lay cheek to cheek. In summer Stavern boils like a southern stew, the population doubles times over and the town has on offer a plethora of summer activities with galleries and exhibitions on every street corner.
The Artist Town
Stavern has a long tradition as a town for artists and has, through time, become famous for it's variation of exhibition by local artists and those from further afield both amateur and professional alike.
There are Easter, summer, autumn and Christmas exhibitions in about 20 locations around the town.
Stavern and Herman Wildenvey belong irrevocably together and this is where Herman and Gisken Wildenvey built their "Hergisheim", which was ready to move into in 1927. In the winter they lived like all the other ordinary residents of Stavern, but in the summer they were a natural focus for visiting artists like Ørnulf Bast and August Oddvar. Wildenvey's bust stands at the entrance to Fredriksvern Verft and was created by Ørnulf Bast in 1955. Wildenvey looks towards Hotel Wassilioff and perhaps longs back to those summer days and nights in Stavern.
Just to the left of the entrance to Stavern Church lies the grave decoration of the poets Thomasine and Jonas Lie. It was raised in 1908 with a relief based on a well-known double portrait of the couple. As a very young man Jonas Lie was a sea cadet candidate in Stavern and lived at the fort commander's residence. The milieu was immortalised later in his novel "The Commander's Daughters". In his elder years, Jonas Lie returned to Stavern and lived there for the last 2-3 years of his life in his newly built home at Larviksveien 22, "Elisenfryd"
For almost 4 weeks each summer the town bubbles with life when "Happy Days" is arranged
in Stavern. There are activities on the stage, on the beach and at Fredriksvern Verft.
Ferdriksvern Fortress is located in Stavern, outside Larvik in Vestfold.
There are guided tours all year and several art exhibitions to choose among.
The decision to build the Fredriksvern Dockyard was made in 1750 by Frederick V, King of Denmark and Norway. Most of the buildings and fortifications were already completed by 1754 with the surrounding ramparts and moats. A garrison church, cemetery and houses were built outside the ramparts. Fredriksvern became a centre for naval activities in Norway, with a high level of competence in all skills required for ship-building, seamanship and operative naval duties.
In 1814 the yard became the main base for the Norwegian Navy. The Navel Cadet Institute was relocated to Karljohansvern in 1864, and Fredriksvern Dockyard was abandoned in 1896 when the Norwegian Parliament decided to turn it into an exercise centre for the Military Academy. In later times the Dockyard was also home to the Anti-Aircraft Regiment. This means that through its more than 250 years of active service, Fredriksvern has acted as a garrison for all branches of the military defence.
How to get there?
Take the E18 Highway to Larvik (either from Kristiansand in the south or Oslo in the north), then take the RV 301 Road to Stavern. Parking in the Stavern town centre. Entrance to the dockyard from Tollbodgaten street, next to Hotel Wassilioff.
Guided tours of Fredriksvern Dockyard
Guided tours of Fredriksvern all year round for small and large groups.
For further information and bookings, please contact VisitStavern at Fredriksvern Dockyard on phone no. (+47) 911 23 222.
Tours start at the Dockyard gates and take visitors on a tour of the old part of the dockyard.
Galleries and museums
There are several permanent galleries and museums at Fredriksvern Dockyard:
Jan Olav Forberg of Atelier Forberg works with a special technique called flame painting, which he has developed himself. Jan Olav Forberg employs a wide variety of other techniques, such as painting and various print techniques besides his own flame painting technique. His gallery at Fredriksvern Dockyard is located in the old ‘Plankekokeriet’ in the red house to the left before the bridge.
Laila Leknes is a potter who moved from Trondheim to Stavern in 1988. Here she runs her own gallery called Galleri Laila, and contributes to the Stavern Kunst exhibitions in the Stone Barracks. Laila Leknes is a graduate of Trondheim School of Art, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and has also studied architecture. Her many works and public commissions include a gift to HM King Olav from the Directorate of National Heritage, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s canteen in Oslo, and coats of arms for various cities.
Kjell Raugland has his own gallery, studio and workshop for silkscreen printing in Stavern town. He also exhibits his work in the Stone Barracks at Fredriksvern Dockyard together with other members of Stavern Kunst art association. Kjell Raugland works with different techniques in drawings, paintings and prints. He has participated in several joint and solo exhibitions in Norway and abroad, such as the national Autumn Exhibition.
Fritz Helge Nyegaard
Fritz Helge Nyegaard exhibits his pictures in Galleri Kringla, in addition to participating in Stavern Kunst's joint exhibitions in the Stone Barracks at Fredriksvern Dockyard. Nyegaard has participated in the national Autumn Exhibition and has had solo and joint exhibitions since 1974. He is educated at Oslo National Academy of the Arts and the workshops of the Directorate of National Heritage in Oslo.
Designjern (design iron) is run by Camilla and Jan Warholm who exhibit their works in the Stone Barracks with the other members of Stavern Kunst. The exhibition includes candlesticks, sculptures, furniture and ornaments. They mainly work in iron and acid-proof steel with inlays of glass, stone, wood and mirrors.
Galleri Winther displays thematic exhibitions in the Stone Barracks, based on photographs on canvas
Øyunn Winther employs different techniques and expressions in pictures and other elements, often exposed in a new and different setting. Claude Monet’s water reflections is one source of inspiration, as is notable in her decorations for Berg church.
The old Stone Barracks also house glass artist Kai Hoffstad and his abstract and vibrantly colourful works of art in glass. He works with warm glass and fusing, in sculptures and artware. Kai Hoffstad has had commissions for glass artware to the Norwegian and Danish Courts. His works have also been bought by the Prime Minister’s Office, the National Museum of Decorative Arts in Trondheim, and by private collectors in Norway and abroad.
The Maritime History Storehouse is a fascinating mixture of gallery and museum; a place for experiences and in-depth studies. Galley Shed 12 dates back to 1765 and is a veritable treasure chest from Norway's ocean-faring past. Norway's past 1,000 years as a sea-faring nation is documented in art and photographs, sculptures and objects. The maritime exhibition in Galley Shed 12 contains fragments of Norway’s maritime cultural history. On exhibit are old documents, objects and remains of wreckages. For Norwegian forebears, the sea represented a route to a different world. The ships brought back unfamiliar scents and spices, rhythms, colours, and new ways of thinking.
The Galley Museum
This museum exhibits miniature models of all vessels built by the dockyard. On display is also a model of the dockyard as it used to look in 1814, built to the scale of 1:100. The Galley Museum is housed in Galley Shed 16 (nearest to the Corntin bay) and records the dockyard’s three epochs, when the Navy, Army and Air Defence were active here. In other words, the museum deals with the Defence activities at the Dockyards from 1750 until 2002.
The Tordenskiold’s Soldiers Association in Stavern
The association was established in the autumn of 1991 with the purpose of organising an annual re-enactment of the
Battle of Dynekil – to entertain the audience as well as themselves. The association is located in the Cadet Barracks and is open to the public in the high season. Every July, the Battle of Dynekil is re-enacted in the harbour basin off Fredriksvern by a group of happy amateurs from Tordenskiold’s Soldiers and a handful of smaller vessels.
The Naval Brig Fredriksværn is a foundation aiming to increase awareness of a critical period in Scandinavian history by building a true replica of the naval brig ”Friderichsværn” from 1814. Fredriksvern Dockyard was Norway’s first site of formal education for marine architects and shipbuilders, making the old dockyards the perfect setting for this project.
Friends of Old Stavern
The Friends of Old Stavern (VGS)
Is an association dedicated to preserving the history of Stavern and Fredriksvern and the surrounding areas. The association has mounted a permanent photo exhibition in the Cadet Barracks, which is open to the public during the high season.