Gammelstad Church Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Gammelstaden near the city of Luleå. It is the best preserved example of a type of town that was once widespread throughout northern Scandinavia. As Church Village of Gammelstad, Luleå, it was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1996. At its centre is an early 15th century stone church surrounded by 424 wood-built houses. The houses were only used on Sundays and during religious festivals to accommodate worshippers from the surrounding countryside who could not return home the same day because of the distance and difficult travelling conditions.
The church in Gammelstad is the biggest medieval church in Northern Sweden. It was built in the 15th century, and according to tradition it was inaugurated by Archbishop Jacob Ulfsson in 1492. The whitewashed bell tower was built in 1851.The interior is richly ornamented and furnished. The late-medieval frescoes in the chancel are by the School of Albertus Pictor. They were whitewashed over in the 18th century but restored in 1909. To the right of the altar there are medieval pews and a reconstructed bishop´s throne or cathedra. The triptych above the altar was built in Antwerp in around 1520 and cost 900 silver marks, and enormous sum which the farmers of Luleå are said to have paid in cash. The pulpit and memorial tablets were made by Nils Jacobsson Fluur at the beginning of the 18th century.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.