Nederluleå Church

Nederluleå church was built during the 15th century as the parish church for Kalix, Råne and the Lule river valleys, but also to impose Swedish presence in the face of growing Russian interest.

The parish was thinly populated but prosperous from trade in salmon and furs. The local farmers could thus afford to build Norrland’s largest church. The church was inaugurated by Archbishop Jacob Ulfsson on St. Peter’s day, the 29th of June, 1492.

Nederluleå Church in Gammelstad during summertime
Photo: Susanne Lindholm

The Archbishop would have sailed through an open archipelago where the brick gables of the church were navigation marks. He would have passed through the northern gate of the courtyard wall, which is still one of the most attractive in Scandinavia today. He inaugurated a church

where the stonework was chosen so carefully that the walls themselves are a sight worth seeing with more than 40 different types of stones.

Interior of Nederluleå Church
Photo: Susanne Lindholm

The church interior is rich even for our time. The vault, paintings, altar screen and crucifix all bear witness to prosperity and Catholic devotional services. The choir stalls has room for many priests, which demonstrates the church’s importance in the region. The pulpit, commemorative plaques and light from the large windows were the 18th century’s contribution to the church interior. Our era has added pews, an organ and golden hanging lamps, which provides light for singing hymns during the evenings of mid-winter.

For more information and opening hours visit Nederluleå parish’s website.