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The first church was built in Arvidsjaur in 1607, and church-attendance laws (urged by zealous priests and enforced by the monarchy) imposed a certain amount of pew time upon the nomadic Sami. To make their church visits manageable, they built small, square cottages with pyramid-shaped roofs (gåhties) for overnighting. Eighty gåhties are preserved here, just across Storgatan from the modern church.