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In February, the U.S. Department of Interior submitted a multi-country nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage List of historic “Moravian Church Settlements” in Bethlehem, North America, and Europe. This transnational nomination includes Bethlehem, Gracehill, Northern Ireland/UK, and Herrnhut, Germany. If approved by the international World Heritage Committee, these three sites will join the previously inscribed Moravian settlement of Christiansfeld, Denmark to form a single UNESCO listing for the Moravian Church Settlements.

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Journey to World Heritage: A Timeline

February 2023

United States submits multi-national nomination to World Heritage List.


The multi-country Tentative List Form which includes Bethlehem, Gracehill, and Herrnhut was submitted and is now officially on the World Heritage website.

Transnational Working Group meetings were held in Northern Ireland in March and Denmark in July.

November 2021

A Transnational Working Group meeting of the four historic Moravian communities was held in Herrnhut.

October 2021

German Minister Müntefering visits Bethlehem. The four countries agree to work together with the U.S. as the lead on the nomination.

September 2021
1750 Smithy is located just off Main Street in Historic Bethlehem

Representatives from Gracehill, Herrnhut, Christiansfeld and Bethlehem gathered in Bethlehem to sign the Voluntary Association Agreement to jointly prepare the nomination dossier.


Historic Moravian Bethlehem works with representatives of Gracehill, Northern Ireland/UK and Herrnhut, Germany to prepare a transnational, serial nomination to the World Heritage List. This is the first multi-country nomination for the U.S.


The U.S. Tentative List was reviewed and approved by the World Heritage Committee and Historic Moravian Bethlehem is now listed along with the other U.S. sites on the World Heritage website for nomination to the World Heritage List.


Historic Moravian Bethlehem was honored with placement on the US Tentative List for eventual nomination to the World Heritage List.


The Moravian settlement of Christiansfeld, Denmark, founded 30 years after Bethlehem, was inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Daytime picture of the Gemeinhaus

Historic Moravian Bethlehem was designated a National Historic Landmark District, one of eight in Pennsylvania and about 200 in the United States.

1750 Smithy is located just off Main Street in Historic Bethlehem

The journey to international recognition begins.

One Step Closer

Top 10 Things to Know

What is World Heritage and what would inclusion on the UNESCO list mean for the Lehigh Valley and the City of Bethlehem? Here are the Top 10 things you need to know:

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Historic Moravian Bethlehem Story

Learn more about the unique and storied history of Historic Moravian Bethlehem. Our city, located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, changed the course of our nation and its culture. We invite you to experience more about Bethlehem's rich and fascinating history.

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Resources & Links

Want to learn more about UNESCO, World Heritage, and sites in the United States and around the world? Find all you want to know right here!

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World Heritage Frequently Asked Questions

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