Matilda-Gammelstad 2.JPG

Gammelstad Church Town

Just outside Luleå you will find Gammelstad Church Town, one of Sweden’s World Heritage Sites on UNESCO’s list of places worth preserving. Gammelstad actually used to be Luleå’s town centre up until the 17th century. Then, land uplift made the Gammelstad harbour too shallow, which meant that in 1649 the town had to be moved closer to the coast.

Luleå’s history began in Gammelstad. It was mainly the church, the largest late medieval stone church in Northern Sweden that served as a gathering place for the locals. Amazingly, the church was built in 1492, and is still standing to this day in the very same place.  Church cottages were built to house church­ goers who came from far away, as regular church attendance was mandated by law in Sweden. 

Today, there are over 400 church cottages pre­served in Gammelstad Church Town and the tradition of staying overnight lives on.

You can also find more information about Gammelstad Church Town and the Open-air Museum Hägnan at

Till Guidning I Gstad Foto Susanne Lindholm

Guided tour of Gammelstad Church Town

Do you want to learn more about Gammelstad Church Town? Why it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and why there are over 400 red church cottages in the area? Have you always wondered how a cottage looks like on the inside and what life was like in the church town? Then you should join for an exciting tour of the largest and most well-preserved church town in the world.

Read more and book
Lulea 400Ar Illustrationer Stadsprivilegier

Come along on a historic journey

From the city of Luleå with 250 inhabitants, to Luleå Municipality, with a current population of over 79,000

Luleå's history in a few minutes
Häst och släde

The open-air museum Hägnan

You will find the open-air museum Hägnan on the outside of the world heritage area, at the outskirts of Gammelstad Church town. You can learn more about customs and practices from the past and about life in the Norrbothnian countryside from the end of the 18th century to the 1940s here. 

The open-air museum Hägnan is closed for the season, but do not worry! The outdoor area is always open for visitors. There is a barbeque spot which is free to use and if the weather conditions are good you might even see norhtern lights on clear, cold winter nights.  

Discover the open-air museum Hägnan