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“A Gem of Early American Colonial History”
Review of Ephrata Cloister

Ephrata Cloister
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in Ephrata
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: 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.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

This religious and cultural site, founded by the German Conrad Beissel, in the early 1700s. It is a good reminder of the religious wars in Europe and the waves of Protestants that left Europe for America to escape persecution and the wars and to seek a new life. The grounds and the buildings are well maintained. The visitor center shows an informative movie about the founding and history of the cloister, and provides a guided tour of the main buildings. Our guide did a good job describing the purposes of the various buildings and rooms and explaining the tenets of the religious group. We found it to be a peaceful and attractive place, which probably explains why couples like to get married here. The gift shop is a good place to acquire local art; it also has an excellent selection of books about the cloister and culture. Well worth spending a couple of hours here.

1  Thank kerncrkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 - 241 of 298 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2012

A very good tour. This gave a glimpse into a way of life and period of history that I didn't know anything at all about.

Thank mdbj35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

A peaceful and insightful respite in our busy schedule. The tour guide - Nathan was great, the time on our own to wander around was most enjoyable.

Thank LisaAH303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Ephrata Cloister has an amazing history, and it is definitely worth the visit. The setting is very serene. We took the guided tour, as you can see three buildings that otherwise are closed if you only talk the self guided walking tour. The ladies at the front desk were friendly and knowledgeable. Our guide was a little less knowledgeable, but we spent 45 minutes on the tour and saw the founder's home, the building where the celibate women stayed, and the chapel. There is a museum and gift shop that are both worth the visit.

Thank Richard C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2012

My wife and I spent a very enjoyable two hours here in the company of my brother and his wife, who had experienced this unusual museum-like tour some years previous. We took the guided tour (which I highly recommend). Our guide, Nicholas, kept the attention of our group of 20 people by seasoning his well-informed and clearly-presented educational and historical narrative with his marvelous sense of humor, and by encouraging the group's interactive participation. He answered all questions in a forthright and personable manner. We then spent another hour wandering at will around the grounds and exhibits. Starting with the welcoming docent at the entrance building, all the employees we encountered at Ephrata Cloisters were friendly and accommodating; but the real standout was our guide Nicholas, a significant contributor to our enjoyment and enlightenment during this memorable excursion.

Thank Larry H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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