Walk through history as we guide you to things to learn, places to discover, and events that help connect us to our rich heritage.
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Here are a few quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Historic Bethlehem, our museums and sites, the Moravians, downtown shopping, events, and tours.
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.
We have gift shops at the following locations:
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a not-for-profit organization supported by our community. Read more about how to JOIN / SUPPORT the preservation of history, culture, and the arts in Bethlehem. We rely on our volunteers and have many fun volunteer opportunities. We’d love to have you join the team!
Central Moravian Church is the active sanctuary for the Central Church Moravians and is not part of our 20 historic sites. Our Church & Chapel Tour will take you into both the Central Moravian Church & the Old Chapel. You can also reach out to the Central Moravian Church Office for visitor information.
Yes! We offer 4 historic site locations to use for hosting your special occasions. We’d love to help you create an unforgettable event that your friends, family, or business will be talking about for years to come. Please contact our Event Venue Coordinator for more information and to book your event
Bethlehem by Night bus tours are offered during the Christmas season. During other seasons, visitors with their own bus may book a step-on tour guide for a day or night tour. For more information, our Custom Tour Manager at 610-882-0450 x 13 or complete our Custom Tour Form.
Though our publicly scheduled Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides are limited to the holiday season, we are happy to help connect you with our trusted carriage ride company to schedule a private carriage.
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