Ephrata, Pennsylvania: Ephrata Cloister TourMostly celibate religious utopia ran out of steam in the 18th century, but tour of large property and restored buildings allows a new generation to consider their beliefs and life style.
- 632 West Main St., Ephrata, PA
- Just south of US Hwy 322 and Rt. 272 intersection, on Rt. 322 sign for Ephrata Cloister parking entrance.
Visitor Tips and News About Ephrata Cloister Tour
Got to see it on a day they were closed but the gate was open, whoops sorry I'm not sorry.[Anthony B, 04/16/2012]
The Ephrata Cloister is one of America's earliest religious communities. It was founded in 1732 by German settlers looking to broaden their views on religion. The community consisted of celibate males and females, brothers and sisters, and married couples. At its height there were 300 members.
The tour is around $9 per person. You start off by watching a video on how Ephrata began and by whom and why. Then you tour the old buildings and grounds of the original town, plus a cemetery. Very educational, family-friendly and based on religion (Christianity).[Tammy Blevins, 10/25/2010]
An experiment in a monastic lifestyle around a core of 80 celibate members at its peak. After the death of its founder, the group's no-sex appeal failed to attract more ascetics, and the property eventually ended up administered by the state, with lots of volunteer support. The National Historic Landmark property includes restored buildings, barns, and the Mount Zion Cemetery.