PiteŚ received its city privileges on May 12, 1621. The town was originally situated slightly north of its current location, in present-day ÷jebyn. In July, 1666, the entire town burnt down, and over the following few years it was rebuilt on Hšggholmen, a small island which forms the nucleus of present-day PiteŚ. In 1721, the new town was burnt down by Russian troops, and the only building that remained was the church, which is still standing.
The town square, where the town hall is located, has kept its structure from the 17th century. It is one of only two squares in Sweden with closed corners; the other one is in Uppsala.
PiteŚ's population has increased rapidly since the 19th century. In the years 1870-1920, PiteŚ had a population of only 2,500 people. Part of the early population increase is attributed to the 1911 opening of the ńlvsbyn-PiteŚ railway branch, as well as industrial establishments and the harbour.
PiteŚ has traditionally had a strong forestry industry; paper mills, sawmills, and its harbour are of some importance