In Norrbotten the land rises around one meter per 100 years. This has been going on since the inland ice melted and the pressure on the earth’s crust was removed. The rising land continually moves the coast line and the harbors eastwards.
During the 14th century the harbor was situated where you are standing now. During the 16th century it was moved 600 meters to Gammelstadsviken (Gammelstad’s Bay), which is a forested area today. When this harbor became too shallow in the mid-17th century, both town and harbor were moved nearer the coast. This is the origin of Luleå New Town and Luleå Old Town, today’s Luleå and Gammelstad.
Prästsundet (Priest’s Sound) was the final stretch of the 14th century channel from the Gulf of Bothnia to the market place on Kyrkberget (Church Hill). The sound went along the road, down towards the car park and then on towards Gammelstad’s Bay. Due to the rising land, only a ditch is left today of what was once the most important waterway in the district. The sound acquired its name from the parsonage situated on this land since 14th century. The Hägnan open-air museum is also located here. It portrays the everyday life of the parishioners as they lived in their own villages.