Gammelstad Church Town

Luleå, Sweden

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.



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Founded: ca. 1492
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Sweden
Historical period: Kalmar Union (Sweden)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Am Thanh Nha Tho (37 days ago)
Happy to visit this old church on the transition of the season.
Shankar Panicker (5 months ago)
The rows of red wooden houses, with their snow-covered roofs and chimneys puffing out smoke, create a picturesque scene that is straight out of a fairy tale. But we visited on Christmas and it was not very crowded. The town is quiet and serene during the winter months, and the only sounds are the crunch of snow underfoot
L V (5 months ago)
Wonderful staff managing the visitor center and amazing Gwendolyn (sorry if I misspell the name) that gave us the tour of the town
Timo van den Berg (5 months ago)
Did a visit during the afternoon and evening. Very beautiful and peaceful to be here. It’s a nice visit for free and there is a lot of information here to read on signs and in a visitors center (with gift shop).
Nantia “Singularity” Moutsouroufi (13 months ago)
Scenic church village. Didn't visit the church because both times we tried there was a funeral taking place (two different funerals). Nevertheless, there were some activities (for families) happening at the open air museum and had the opportunity to see some folklore scenes from Swedish peasant life like bread making, and blacksmith works.
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