“founded in 1732 by German settlers”
One of America's earliest religious communities, the Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 by German settlers seeking spiritual goals rather than earthly rewards. Gathered in unique European style buildings, the community consisted of celibate Brothers and Sisters, and a married congregation of families. At the zenith of the community in the 1740s and 1750s, about 300 members worked and worshiped at the Cloister. Today, the National Historic Landmark is open for tours, special programs, and on-going research opportunities.
One of the best spontaneous stops on my trip so far. I expected to learn a bit about the cloister and the people who lived there, but there was a lot more to it. The cloister has preserved a wonderful diorama of life in the late 1700’s. In addition to the sister’s quarters, the have the printing presses, bakery, candle making, and living quarters for an average family. They have also preserved the area where they worked on and examples of their scroll work.
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