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 Stavanger region

Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger domkirke) is Norway´s oldest cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Stavanger who leads the Diocese of Stavanger. The church is situated in the centre of the city, in the borough of Storhaug. The church is part of the "Stavanger domkirke" parish in the Stavanger arch-deanery in the Diocese of Stavanger.

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. The church was initially the seat of the Ancient Diocese of Stavanger, a diocese of the Roman Catholic Church until the Protestant Reformation.

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, based at the Kristiansand Cathedral. 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 were 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.

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