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“A Beautiful and Fascinating Place”

Gammelstad Church Town
Ranked #1 of 30 things to do in Lulea
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“A Beautiful and Fascinating Place”
Reviewed March 30, 2013

My friends had a their wedding at the church in Gammelstad. I was unfamiliar with the Swedish tradition of "church towns". The Church and surrounding village are definitely worth the trip if your in the area. It deserves it's UNESCO status.

Visited July 2012
2 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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261 reviews from our community

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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great to visit in winter too”
Reviewed March 23, 2013 via mobile

We visited on a bright, sunny, but cold winter's day. A great morning out, easily reached from the centre of town by the bus which runs every hour from Smedjegatan. Both th church and the visitor centre were open, and the film show at the latter gave an interesting and very adequate introduction to the history behind the town. And the warming coffee at Margareta's Vardshus with it's quaint interior was a wonderful way to wait for the bus back.

Thank grahamb_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I was fortunate enough to attend a lovely wedding at this stunning church in the centre of Gammalstad which is a very picturesque village and particularly so at this time of the year when everywhere is covered in snow. A fairyland setting.

Try the the local Artic Berry jam (åkebär).

Visited February 2013
Thank Cozee0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vindeln, Sweden
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Unesco a go-go”
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Fascinating village, lovely to walk round, and we had an excellent multi-lingual guide. The residents allow you to look round their little houses. Museum explaining the history is very good. Best visited in the long summer days.

Visited June 2012
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
113 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Quaint and beautiful even in winters”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

When we went to Gammelstad, there were only 5 tourist including 2 of us. Even the tourist office was closed :).

The place looks beautiful in winter, red houses, snow covered roads and trees appear a different world. The church stands pretty much tall in the village and is lovely from inside.

Visited January 2013
Thank Ganesh S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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