Gammelstads kyrkstad (Church town) a world heritage site

Now I’ve gotten me a internet connection so hopefully I’ll be a little bit more active that I’ve been the last months.

As I currently live within a world heritage site I’ve walked around and taken some pictures. The parts that are easily accessible are the visible parts, in this case the church and buildings that make up the church town.


Lets start with the church that was built in the 15thcentury, consecrated in 1492 or possible a few years earlier during the final years of the middle ages (in Sweden we normally say that middle ages end around the coronation of king Gustav Vasa 1523 or in connection with the reformation of the church to Protestantism). The church is known as Nederlulea church.


The baptismal font is most probably older than the church. As you can see it is two parts whereas I believe the top part (the font) is the older.


The frescoes in the chancel was found under the plaster and restored in 1909 and probably painted by the famous Albertus Pictor during the 15th century.


This round stone is a bit of a mystery.

When first I looked at it I supposed it was grave stone from the Iron Age as it looks much like the circular stones that mark some graves in the southern and middle parts of Sweden. It is ca 45-55 cm in diameter. Then I noticed the markings and supposed that those were of Sámi origin. I’ve later larded that the stone is a bit of a mystery, it can’t be connected to a grave, though this is not impossibility, and the carvings are not Sámi.

If I’ve understood it right the common belief is that the stone has been placed in the church sometime during the last few hundred years and that the carvings have been made by someone to look like Sámi markings. Exacting isn’t it?

This church has like many others traces from several ages, the pulpit in Baroque style was mad in 1712 and painted in 1742.


The church town I s made up by about 500 wooden cottages. The oldest written source concerning the church town is from the 17thcentury by Johannes Bureus who visited it in the year 1600. The cottages have been used and are still used for accommodation for churchgoers as they visited the church on church festivals, for example Christmas and Easter. This was also used by the state to collect taxes from the churchgoers who often lived far from the church.


The oldest part of the Church town is from the first half of the14thcentury. I’ll get back to you with some pictures and some facts of the archaeological part of Gammelstad church town.

Magnus Reuterdahl


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

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