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Gammelstad Church Town World Heritage Site
Gammelstad Church Town was included in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1996, and is thereby covered by The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The objects on the World Heritage List all bear unique testimony to the history of the world and mankind. They are invaluable to humanity and must be preserved for posterity. The list contains abuot 750 cultural and natural environments of which the Great Wall of China, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and Sveaborg outside Helsinki are among the better known. As well as Gammelstad Church Town, Norrbotten also has the World Heritage Laponia, which is the largest area of wilderness in Europe.
Gammelstad is an outstanding example of a Northern Scandinavian church town. More than 400 cottages, which were used on Sundays and during major religious festivals, markets and local courts, are grouped around the late medieval stone church in Gammelstad. The cottages served as overnight stop for parishioners who lived too far away to make the journey to the church and back in one day. The City of Luleå was founded around the old church in the 17th century. 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.