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Ephrata Cloister

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Address: 632 W Main St, Ephrata, PA 17522-1717
Phone Number:
+1 717-733-6600
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description:

One of America's earliest religious communities, the Historic Ephrata...

One of America's earliest religious communities, the Historic 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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 275 reviews
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  • 178
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Interesting Glimpse into the Past

We enjoyed visiting the cloister and learning about some of the earliest settlers who came to Pennsylvania for religious purposes. It was cold outside, so we probably would have... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Joelamountain
,
Alexandria, Virginia
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275 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 270: English reviews
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
132 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We enjoyed visiting the cloister and learning about some of the earliest settlers who came to Pennsylvania for religious purposes. It was cold outside, so we probably would have walked the grounds for a longer period if the weather cooperated. We skipped the hour-long tour, so we didn't see the interior of the dormitory, but you can still get the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Joelamountain
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Somewhat interesting story about this religious community. The preserved historic buildings and grounds weres the highlight for me. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. The gift shop was not open for the season on this visit.

Helpful?
Thank rimiller00
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This historic site tells the story of a religious community similar to the more widely know Shakers. The preserved historic building are sited at the edge of the city of Ephrata. Guided tours explain the lives of the people who followed holy man Conrad Beissel into the wilderness and built a community that endured for most of a century. You... More 

Helpful?
Thank subianchi
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
106 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Conrad Beissel founded this religious community in 1732. It eventually died out, but some buildings and a museum remain to tell the story. It's an interesting story told through a short movie, small museum and guided tour. They also offer cell phone narration for buildings and locations not included on the guided tour. Everything is well-maintained and the tour guide... More 

Helpful?
Thank LisaJane222
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2017

The classes are great! and the Cloister is too! A definite stop when visiting Lancaster County! The family will love it.

Helpful?
Thank emsullivan1
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2017

It's a bit strange being one of the few people here. I've been several times over the decades, and it doesn't change (nor should it). Please take time to breathe in the air. It's a place for quiet reflection

Helpful?
Thank alexisaudet
Maine
Level Contributor
172 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2016

We were lucky enough to be in the area the week between Christmas and New Years... the only time of the year "Lantern Tours" are offered! When I called for a reservation, they were fully booked... but we got lucky! The person who took my call was sympathetic to our plight--we'd traveled a long way! We were added to a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Walter B
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2016

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about the history of this unique religious community. A small but informative museum gave more insights. Gift shop has a wide variety to choose from.

Helpful?
Thank Linda W
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2016 via mobile

Even if you are a bit nutters. I suggest going on the tour which gives background and understanding of how the community lived and what they believed in. I asked for a comparison and contrast between this community and the Shakers and found the answer to be quite interesting.

Helpful?
Thank EL V
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2016

We took the tour which was very thorough. The tour guide was outstanding! The history of the Ephrata Cloister was very interesting. Take some time to visit the cemetery and look at the headstones.

Helpful?
Thank dzolin8

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?