Lapland
In My Heart

The old Gammelstad church town is a well preserved
World Heritage site in Northern Sweden.


The Church Town

Gammelstad church town 3
The Gammelstad church town is a World Heritage Site just north of Luleå i northern Sweden. It isn't really in Lapland. But since the Swedes have decided to include also the Luleå area in the Lapland term, we'll give it to you here. And it is, of course, a site that is well worth visiting.

Gammelstad, at the bottom of the Gulf of Bothnia, is the best preserved example of a 'church village', a unique kind of village formerly found many places in northern Scandinavia. At Gammelstad there are 424 wooden houses round the early 15th-century stone church.

See this Google map to find out where Gammelstad is.

The houses were used on Sundays and at religious festivals. Worshippers from the surrounding countryside could not return home the same day because of the distance and sometimes difficult travelling conditions. In addition the houses were used in connection with markets and local courts. These people could stay in these houses.

The village is of great universal value as a traditional church town of northern Scandanavia. It illustrates the adaptation of conventional urban design to the special geographical and climatic conditions of a hostile natural environment.

Gammelstad church 2 This Church Town was included in UNESCO´s World Heritage List in 1996.

Today Gammelstad consists of a unique assortment of church cottages, year-round dwellings and public buildings. The church cottages are still used in a traditional way.

Find out more about Gammelstad Church Town

Read also our article about the UNESCO World Heritage.

Where the Reindeer Roam


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