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Gammelstad Church Town

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Address: 1 Kyrktorget, Lulea 954 33, Sweden
Phone Number: +46 920 45 70 10

Of Sweden's 71 original church towns, only 16 are left today. The majority...

Of Sweden's 71 original church towns, only 16 are left today. The majority of these have been reduced to a remnant. Gammelstad has the country's largest and best preserved church town with 408 cottages comprising 553 rooms.

The church town presumably arose from a combination of several factors: the long distances, merchants' needs for storage and accommodation at the marketplace, the church stables and last but not least the population's duty to attend church regularly.

The oldest mention of Gammelstad Church Town is in Johannes Bureus' depiction of his visit here at Christmas 1600: "All farmers have their cottages near the church at a place they call The Hill". Unfortunately Bureus does not mention the age of the church town, but the first cottages were presumably built in the mid-16th century.

Gammelstad Church Town was put on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 7 December, 1996.The World Heritage Committee's reasoning was as follows:

"Gammelstad Church Town is a remarkable example of the traditional church town of northern Scandinavia. It admirably illustrates the adaptation of conventional urban design to the special geographical and climatic conditions of a hostile natural environment."

The World Heritage area includes the church itself, surrounded by the Church Town, the well-to-do areas, the public buildings and certain sections of the more recent permanent buildings.The church town tradition, i.E. The custom of spending the night in church cottages in connection with church weekends, was a decisive factor for conferring world heritage status.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Had a lovely afternoon here. It is great to visit if you are interested in getting an impression of how historical Sweden. Very interesting walking around the houses which are... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed July 3, 2016
Cricklade, United Kingdom
via mobile
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199 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 84: English reviews
Cricklade, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2016 via mobile

Had a lovely afternoon here. It is great to visit if you are interested in getting an impression of how historical Sweden. Very interesting walking around the houses which are done up in transitional Swedish style. The restaurant has great food too. Would come back and think this place is great for children too.

Thank Juljen83
Level Contributor
515 reviews
162 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2016

It had rained all day but we decided to stop by anyway. It is quite impressive to see all these red wooden buildings and imagine the people coming here to church services from so far away. Because of the wet weather, we really did not get out of the car to explore inside any of the buildings nor did we... More 

Thank solomon5
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2016

The place is about 10 minutes taxi drive from Lulea (or 25 minutes by bus). Really lovely and quiet. worth a visit

Thank Einat R
Antwerp, Belgium
Level Contributor
433 reviews
191 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2016 via mobile

A classic near the Haparanda border between Sweden and Finland. Over 400 cottages around the church and the bell tower. Nice walks in the streets. The Church Town has never been struck by a major fire, thus becoming the largest and best preserved in the country. A UNESCO World Heritage site.

Thank Peter D
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
558 reviews
417 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2016

This well preserved town is beautiful. The large church in the centre of town has a beautiful pulpit, the red and white buildings create photogenic streets, you could spend good hour just wondring around. We didn't find it difficult to navigate and we did not even have a map. The information centre also had really helpful staff.

Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2016 via mobile

We hoped on our bikes and cycled out to Gammelstad from Luleå. It took us about an hour of fairly easy cycling along flat cycle paths and was a great way to get to Gammelstad. Visit the information center when you arrive to get maps and an idea of where to go. The history of the town is very interesting... More 

1 Thank Kirsty Y
Level Contributor
53 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2016 via mobile

For hundreds of years people came from far away to visit the church in this town. Due to the long travel many people had small cottages in the village surrounding the church and they are still there preserved as a museum. Through strict control they can not be altered or changed in any modern way; They have to stay the... More 

Thank Frequentflyerreview
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
47 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2016

Even though it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and interesting to see, I feel there are probably more important or fun things to do. It all depends on what you like to do but for the majority of people, this probably is a yawner.

Thank TravelisMe
Level Contributor
132 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2016 via mobile

I have just one hour for looking at Gammelstad church town at Friday afternoon. Currently church is in renovation until summer and information center was closed. But I can see many small houses for stopovers of one night at old age. If you see some of inside of house and church it could be good. Maybe I just wish it... More 

Thank Chuuk K
Ninove, Belgium
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2016

Had a walk through the village after crossing the iceroas in the neighborhood. Visit of the local museum and the shop with nice souvenirs. Must see!

Thank Alain A

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