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Stavanger is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway. Stavanger was established as a municipality January 1, 1838. The rural municipalities of Hetland and Madla merged with Stavanger January 1, 1965. Stavanger is the 4th largest city in Norway, with a population of 117,315 (2007) and approximately 181,300 people in the conurbation, making the Stavanger-Sandnes city area the third largest in Norway. The city has been called the Petroleum Capital of Norway. The city is located on a peninsula on the southwest coast of Norway. The climate is maritime mild temperate (marine west coast - cfb) and rather windy, with all monthly temperature averages above freezing, and precipitation 1200 mm/year. Summers are pleasant and lowland areas in and around Stavanger have the longest growing season in Norway (220 days). The city is a combination of new and old influences. There is a significant foreign influence with the nearby Joint Warfare Center, a base where rotating NATO forces (but not permanently stationed foreign forces) are stationed, as well as foreign oil interests. Norway's oldest cathedral, Stavanger domkirke, is situated right in the city centre. 

Stavanger has several beautiful lakes, which are popular recreation areas. Breiavatnet is located in the heart of Stavanger, while Mosvatnet and Stokkavatnet are situated right outside. Stavanger Airport is located 14 km from the city centre, in the municipality of Sola. Stavanger and its region, along with Liverpool, United Kingdom, have been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2008. The Stavanger2008 vision is expressed through the concept "Open Port". This can be understood both in its English sense - "an open harbour", - and in its Norwegian meaning of "an open gate". Open Port – Openness towards the world. The region and its people is supposed to be even more open and inclusive towards art, ideas and opportunities

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