Founded in the 8th century and one of Norway’s oldest towns, Stavanger is situated along the Byfjord, an arm of the Stavangerfjord. A bishop ruled the city from the twelfth through seventeenth centuries. At the end of the eighteenth century, Stavanger had developed a successful merchant shipping fleet and during the next century developed herring fishing and canning industries. Appealing echoes of that proud heritage live on amid the evocative cobbled streets of Gamle (Old) Stavanger, whose whitewashed 18th century houses are probably northern Europe’s best-preserved community of wooden houses. It has a well-preserved 12th century stone church.