Luleå’s Nederluleå Church was finished in 1492, the same year that Christopher Columbus discovered America. That was more than 500 years ago and today the area is one of Sweden’s World Heritage Sites.

The historic site is popular with visitors the year around who walk among the small red church cottages, enjoy the tranquillity from days gone by and take part in various events.

Nederluleå Church and the surrounding church cottages have several hundred years of history. The church cottages were built in the mid 1500’s to provide people who lived far from the church a place to stay when they attended church mass and festivals. This was during the time when mandatory church attendance was still in effect in Sweden. Step into one of the church cottages and pretty quickly you will get a picture of how people lived in those days. Rooms are simply furnished with kitchen sofa and dining table. A cooking stove and a tile stove for heating is placed in every room because one family stayed in each room. Cabinet beds were also common, and the size tells us that people were generally smaller then. The feeling that this place has been inhabited lives and breathes in the walls and you can feel how it must have been sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee and chatting.

A few hundred meters from the World Heritage Site is the outdoor museum, Friluftsmuseet Hägnan. This museum gives visitors an insight into how regular people lived in rural areas. You even get to meet the characters – dressed for the period maids and farmhands that tell of the time. In the pastures you’ll find wandering goats, sheep and horses and rabbits bouncing around freely on the farm. A few steps away there is a children’s farm, a perfect place for the kids to play and where they can try walking on stilts and other fun things. The World Heritage site and the surrounding area depicts Luleå as it once was. A contrast to the modern city and a piece of history that evokes warm feelings for most people.

2016 - the year Gammelstad Church Town is celebrating 20 years as a world heritage!