Walk through history as we guide you to things to learn, places to discover, and events that help connect us to our rich heritage.
Volunteer open house events coming to HBMS. Learn more today!
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites provides an in-depth look into the history and culture of Bethlehem, from its establishment in 1741 as a Moravian community to the present. Through the preservation of original buildings and sites, comprehensive exhibits, research collections, and educational programs, the organization reveals the unique role that Bethlehem and its people played in the formation of the United States.Learn More
We are dedicated to preserving and celebrating the diverse, rich history of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding region. Our mission is to deepen the public's understanding and appreciation for Bethlehem's dynamic history by providing unique and engaging experiences that explore and commemorate the contributions of all our community has to offer.Learn More
HBMS is grateful for the dedicated members of our Board of Trustees, who provide leadership, guidance, and support for our organization and carry out our mission of preserving and interpreting our unique history.See All
Our committed and talented staff are the heart of what makes our organization special. We take great pride in working hard every day to ensure the heritage of the city remains well-preserved and vibrant, while also ensuring our guests have an exceptional experience.Learn More
The Kemerer Society was established to recognize donors of $1,000 or more at Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites. Donors to the Society help ensure that HBMS continues to provide high-quality programming for youth and adults and care of our collections and historic resources.Learn More
Our organization is committed to creating a culture of openness and respect that celebrates diversity and fosters inclusion. We believe that creating a diverse and inclusive environment is essential to creating community and providing exceptional customer service and experiences.Learn More
We are delighted to share our 2022/2023 progress, as we look back on our successful events and programs. We also celebrate our dedicated group of donors, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters. In this report, we share the successes of our last year and reflect on how our programs and initiatives have enriched the lives of the people in our community.Learn More
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites provides a remarkable opportunity for individuals to learn about our history and experience this exciting and unique landscape. We offer a variety of career and internship opportunities that provide exciting growth prospects and professional development. Our team is comprised of individuals with a broad range of interests, skills, and backgrounds — so we invite you to explore and discover how you fit into our organization. We hope you will consider joining us as we work together to preserve and share Bethlehem’s history, culture, and natural beauty.View All
Our organization strives to promote the understanding, appreciation, and preservation of Bethlehem's rich history and culture. From historic buildings to interactive museum experiences, we strive to provide meaningful and memorable experiences for all. We hope this FAQ page can help you have a seamless experience when visiting us and learning about our mission. Thank you for visiting with us!
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that proudly preserves and maintains 20 historic sites, seven gardens, five ruins, one orchard, and 60,000+ artifacts. Our organization engenders a sense of place by working tirelessly to restore, educate, and share all we can about these beautiful buildings and their storied pasts.
The 1752 Apothecary, 1748-1848 Burnside Plantation, 1810 Goundie House, 1869 Luckenbach Mill (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter), Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, Moravian Museum of Bethlehem - 1741 Gemeinhaus, 1758-69 Nain-Schober House, 1744/52 Single Sisters' House, 1751/1760 Reconstructed Smithy (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter), 1761 Tannery (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter), Visitor Center & Museum Store, and 1762 Waterworks (Located in the Colonial Industrial Quarter)
The Moravians are one of the oldest Protestant denominations, predating Martin Luther and the formation of the Lutheran Church by about 50 years. Beginning in eastern Europe, the early Moravians were followers of John Hus, an early reformist who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1415. They later united in 1457, calling themselves Unitas Fratrum or Unity of the Brethren.
After worshiping in secret for almost 2 centuries, leaders of the Unitas Fratrum came out of hiding after meeting Count Zinzendorf, who later became their benefactor and religious leader.
From there in 1732, they came to the New World as missionaries and settlers, and founded Bethlehem in 1741, the first well-established Moravian settlement in the Americas. In fact, all of the historic buildings constructed from 1741 to 1845 were built by Bethlehem's Moravian forefathers.
The name Moravian refers to the geographic area where the faith community originated, in ancient Bohemia and Moravia, now part of the Czech Republic.
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