When Luleå was accorded the status of town in 1621, a decision was made to build a new town to the east of the church. Here the packed church cottages were to be replaced by rectangular areas with stately houses.
This development stopped in 1649 when the town was moved nearer to the coast. Gammelstad became once again a church village and the middle-class district took on a more varied type of architecture. Today there are small cottages for day labourers, simple dwellings for craftsmen, impressive houses for the rich and quite a number of church cottages. The area hence reflects both the history of Luleå and the social structure bygone epochs.
The Old Guest House, dating back to the late 18th century, acquired its present appearance in the mid-1800s. It was then a high-class residence for the well-to-do owner of a sawmill. The building’s yellow, oil-painted panels mark a clear difference of status compared with the smaller, red-painted buildings. The Guest House used to be of importance to the parish administration, culture and development. It has been used as a doctor´s surgery, a junior school training college, the tax inspector’s office and an inn. The house is now in private ownership.