Gammelstad (also Gammelstaden: the Old Town) is the ancient center of the northern Swedish town of Luleå in Norrbotten. The Church Village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
1000 years ago today Gammelstad was a small island in the delta of Luleälven. In the 12th century Gammelstad center of the parish, which extended along the rivers Kalix River, Luleälv and Råneälv from the mountains to the coast.
After the peace of Nöteborg in 1323 Sweden and Russia were at odds over the borders in the north. The Swedish government tried to involve the area around the Luleälven in the kingdom. Priests were sent to the north, and simple wooden churches were built. 1339 the first service was held in Luleå. The Norrbotten province became part of the Swedish kingdom with Swedish laws and taxes.
The existing today imposing stone church was begun during the 13th century and testifies to the economic prosperity of the community, stemmed from the fur trade and salmon. By a decree was determined in the 15th century that any trade in Sweden is limited to cities where he could be taxed. Luleå was founded in 1621 on the site of the old trading center. Even 28 years after the city's official founding, in 1649, the harbor silted up by the Scandinavian land uplift to the north of Sweden particularly strong clairsentient. Subsequently, the city became Luleå at the point where it is now built.
Around the church is the church of the village of Gammelstad to find. It is a settlement of 400 houses ( kyrkstugor ) in which the residents of the community were able to stay when they came to Luleå for worship. The Church Village of Gammelstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today in Sweden only a few villages such church are preserved. Other examples are the approximately 60 km south to Öjebyn in Piteå or Rättvik at Siljan.