Valberget Utisiktspunt was designed to replace the nearly 200-year-old wooden version. Construction of the 85-foot (26-meter) tall tower took place between 1850 and 1853 and was led by Christian Heinrich Grosch, Norway’s most famous architect of the time.
From the tower, the watchmen could see from one end of Stavanger to the other. Early signs of fire were easy to spot from the tower’s vantage point on top of a hill. Residents of Stavanger were warned by the ringing of a bell and the firing of cannons.
The watchmen inside the tower worked in teams of four to six men and rotated solo patrols during their six-hour summer and eight-hour winter shifts.
By the 18th century, the watchmen’s role changed to only focus on fire detection duties. The last watch took place in 1922, completed by Tobias Sandstøl, who had held the position for 18 years.
Providing there are no giant cruise ships in port, the tower provides amazing views over Stavanger, including the wooden houses at Gamle Stavanger, many of which survive today.