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Church Village of Gammelstad, Luleå
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 15th-century
Date of Inscription: 1996
Location: Europe, Sweden, County of Norrbotten (Norrbottens län)
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Description: At the head of the Gulf of Bothnia lies Gammelstad, the best-preserved 'church village'; it is now the only one left of its kind (previously these villages were found all throughout northern Scandinavia). Clustered around the early 15th-century stone church are 424 wooden houses, which in their time lodged worshippers from the nearby countryside, they were solely utilized on Sundays and during religious festivals when guests could not return home the same day owing to the distance and tricky travelling conditions. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Gammelstad Church Town (Swedish: Gammelstads kyrkstad) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated near the city of Luleå, Sweden at the northern end of the Gulf of Bothnia. It is the best preserved example of a type of town that was once widespread throughout northern Scandinavia. The town is located about 10 kilometers up streams Lule River. At its centre is an early 15th century stone church surrounded by 424 wood-built houses. The houses used only on Sundays and at religious festivals to house worshippers from the surrounding countryside who could not return home the same day because of the distance and difficult travelling conditions. Gammelstad was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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