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Stavern

(4.2/5 based on 20+ reviews for 3 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, historic sites
Stavern is a small Norwegian town located in the municipality of Larvik, south of the city of Larvik in Vestfold.The port and naval base of Stavern (until 1930 named Fredriksvern) was established as a municipality 1 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). Even though it was an important port it was first given its status as a town (kjøpstad) 1 July 1942. The small town and municipality of Stavern was merged with the larger town of Larvik 1 January 1988.The town was the site of an important Norwegian naval base, Fredriksvern, from 1677 to 2002. Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen, Norwegian-American author, was born at Fredriksvern.Stavern has probably been a harbor since ancient times. The name is found in written sources from the 11th century and the 12th century where it is referred to as a good fishing harbor. Besides being an important military harbour, Stavern in the 17th and 18th century was also an important port for civil ship traffic from Norway to Denmark and Sweden.Its name might stem from the name of the farm previously located there, Staurheim. It might also originate from merchants sailing from the Frisian town Stavoren. A final possible explanation is that it originates from an Old Norse name for steep cliffs or mountains, Staferni or Stafr, which accurately describes the landscape around the town.Its former and current name is Stavern, but from 1799 to 1930 even the civilian part of the town was titled Fredriksværn as its only function was as the site of that naval base.
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