Today there are more than 90 listed buildings in the County of Jämtland, which are of regional as well as national and international interest. They recount the development from a medieval society to an industrialized society, from an ancient log shed built in the 13th century to a petrol station built in the 1950s.
In the County of Jämtland there are 14 known medieval log houses, all of them proclaimed as historical buildings. The oldest was erected in the year of 1291, which makes it one of the oldest log houses in Sweden. Jämtland and Härjedalen form a part of a core area of timber architecture in central Scandinavia with an on-going tradition from the Middle ages until the present day. This is an architectural treasure of international significance.
Many of the old log sheds are still in use at the farms, or have been replaced with similar constructions, often built in the traditional technique. Agriculture is of great importance in the County of Jämtland, which is reflected in the number of historical buildings in the fertile rural areas.
The impact of the Swedish industrial revolution in Jämtland and Härjedalen is somewhat different from the general national picture. The county maintained its rural structure with a limited expansion of industry.The County of Jämtland, however, very early on attracted tourists, who yearned for clean air, a pastoral landscape and good opportunities for fishing, hunting and, later on, skiing.
At the same time, peoples movements spread around the world, also affecting sparsely populated areas in northern Sweden. In the County of Jämtland, the Temperance movement diffused swiftly and resulted in a great number of small assembly halls in the villages. At the turn of the 19th century, Östersund, the only town in the county and seat of the County governor, expanded with a rapidly increasing population.
A number of historical buildings in the County of Jämtland echo the revolving times a century ago.
Boddas bönhus, built in year 1291, in Bodsjö,
Jämtland is one of the oldest log houses in Sweden.
Photo: Jämtland County Administration, Gertrud Persson.