Church Village in Gammelstad, Lulea, Sweden

In the northern region in Sweden, the church villages are scattered. There are small cottages around the church and the believers stay there and pass to the church every day. The reason of the birth of church village was huge parish and attendance obliged by regulations. Those was decaying in 20 century, but, even now, 16 villages exist.

Gammelstad locates at the suburb in Lulea. It was designated as the World Heritage.

In the center is a church to which style I want to call as Scandinavian Byzantine, and it is surrounded by the pretty cottages more than 400 along the radiated roads.

Some cottages are owned by one family and others are divided to some rooms which different families own. The number of chimney on the roof show the number of family. The family which came to clear the room invited in the interior. It was small but it was enough for sleeping and eating.

The exterior wall is a typical material in Sweden. The paint is made of oxidized iron. Against the common people's houses painted in red, the houses of the high class people are painted in yellow.

I didn't feel difference of the class when I walked around the vilaage although the radiated roads or hierarchy by color exist. The simple material as boarded wall or the repetition of the cottages with the same character may be the reason.

At the same time, when I traveled through Sweden, I sometimes find delicate signs which show the small difference of the class. It is difficult to go over to the other side due to the smallness and delicacy of difference. So, I also feel that the delicate difference which Gammelstad has may be an skillful expression of the difference of class so that they would feel the visualization of the vertical social structure.

Transportation : 1 hour 30 minutes by airplane from Stockholm to Lulea, and 30 minutes by bus from Lulea downtown to Gammelstad.

To Japanese Version

Upload : January, 2004


Photo by Daigo Ishii