Ephrata Travel Guide

  • Buildings of the Cloister in the woods
    Buildings of the Cloister in the woods
    by mtncorg
  • Saal is on the right and Saron to the left
    Saal is on the right and Saron to the...
    by mtncorg
  • Printing office on the left
    Printing office on the left
    by mtncorg

Ephrata Things to Do

  • SARON - SISTER'S HOUSE

    Built in 1743 originally for Householders who were trying out celibacy, the building was remodeled for the Sister Solitary. There are three main floors with a kitchen, dining room, two common work areas and twelve sleeping rooms on each. With the end of the Solitaires in 1813, the building was divided into apartments and rented out to church...

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  • VISITOR CENTER

    All visits begin here. There is an introductory film which gives you an overview of beliefs and life here at the Cloisters. You can then go out on a guided tour which takes you through several of the main surviving buildings of the Cloisters. Hours are 9-5 pm Mon- Fri, Sun noon-5p,. Admission is $7 with fifty cents off with a AAA card or a receipt...

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  • SAAL

    Built in 1741 as a worship hall for the Householders, the Saal was taken over by the Sisters when they moved in next door to the Saron. The Sisters used the Saal for midnight services each day - the Brothers had their own Saal for such purposes. Each Sunday, the entire congregation - Solitary and Householders - used another meetinghouse on the hill...

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  • GOD'S ACRE

    Here was where the faithful found their final rest. Graves date back to 1767. Conrad Beissel's grave is in the middle with a protective covering over his stone to help protect against the ravages of time. Next to him is Peter Miller who became the Cloister's leader following Beissel's 1768 death.

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  • CONRAD BEISSEL'S HOUSE

    Beissel moved about six times between 1732 and the late 1740's when the Brotherhood built this home between the Saron and the Bethania (Brother's House). Here, Beissel could meditate and write in solitude but also serve to consult the congregation from, too.

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  • BETHANIA - BROTHER'S HOUSE

    Dating to 1746 and lasting until 1908, this building was four-storied and was similar to that of the Saron. It is thought that the printing office was moved here later in the 1700's. The Brothers also had their own adjoining Saal but that was demolished in 1855. Exhibits showthe building plan and exactly how the Bethania once appeared.

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  • PRINTING OFFICE

    The printing office was first operated out of this building before being moved next door to the Bethania. The west addition dates to about 1810 to give more space to a member who had a clock making shop. Along with the printing press, members were involved with frakturschriften - Germanic calligraphy similar to the illuminated writing of medieval...

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  • EPHRATA'S OWN GROUNDHOG'S DAY...

    Presumably conceived after copious amounts of alcohol consumption - Ephrata's very own Groundhog's Day Celebration started in February 2003. About 35 people gathered before sunrise in Tom Grater Park to chant and watch for "Cocalico Cal and Cocalico Callie". At the break of dawn, Cal appeared on the far side of the creek and prognosticated that...

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  • Pulpit

    The leader of the Seventh-Day German Baptists, Conrad Beissel, believed Christians could follow God better if they did not marry. A community of unmarried brothers and sisters at the Ephrata Cloister lived under his strict guidance. They dressed in simple robes of undyed homespun, ate no meat, and slept on hard wooden benches with a block of wood...

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Ephrata Hotels

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Ephrata Restaurants

  • by noahsdad Written Oct 4, 2002

    The Akron restaurant (OK, OK, technically it's in nearby Akron, PA) features classic, good American home-cooking. There's a wide variety to choose from. It's simple, satisfying comfort food like chicken and dumplings, rhubarb relish, red velvet cake, etc.

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Ephrata Shopping

  • by RblWthACoz Written Nov 29, 2005

    Ephrata lies in Amish country. And the Green Dragon is a good place to check out to purchase goods that the Amish produce. In case you didn't know, whatever the Amish do, they do very well. A lot of their food items are extremely good. From pretzels to meat to jelly...in my opinion it is all worth trying.

    Open Every Friday (unless Christmas is on a Friday) 9:00 am until 9:00 pm

    What to buy: Foodstuffs.

    What to pay: Prices vary. But you know what they say: You get what you pay for.

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Ephrata Favorites

  • by noahsdad Written Oct 4, 2002

    Favorite thing: See the Ephrata Cloister, built by a German sect in colonial America. While the sect is no more, the site does give you a good sense of what religious freedom meant back then. Also, the cloister played a role in the American Revolution and subsequent history. Peaceful, unusual, moving.

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