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Ephrata Cloister

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Address: 632 W Main St, Ephrata, PA 17522-1717
Phone Number:
+1 717-733-6600
Website
Today
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:00
Description:

One of America's earliest religious communities, the Historic Ephrata...

One of America's earliest religious communities, the Historic Ephrata Cloister was founded in 1732 by German settlers seeking spiritual goals rather than earthly rewards. Gathered in unique European style buildings, the community consisted of celibate Brothers and Sisters, and a married congregation of families.At the zenith of the community in the 1740s and 1750s, about 300 members worked and worshiped at the Cloister. Today, the National Historic Landmark is open for tours, special programs, and on-going research opportunities.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 273 reviews
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  • 178
    Excellent
  • 79
    Very good
  • 7
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
History and atmosphere are unique

This historic site tells the story of a religious community similar to the more widely know Shakers. The preserved historic building are sited at the edge of the city of Ephrata... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 days ago
subianchi
,
Hershey, Pennsylvania
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273 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 268: English reviews
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This historic site tells the story of a religious community similar to the more widely know Shakers. The preserved historic building are sited at the edge of the city of Ephrata. Guided tours explain the lives of the people who followed holy man Conrad Beissel into the wilderness and built a community that endured for most of a century. You... More 

Helpful?
Thank subianchi
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
105 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Conrad Beissel founded this religious community in 1732. It eventually died out, but some buildings and a museum remain to tell the story. It's an interesting story told through a short movie, small museum and guided tour. They also offer cell phone narration for buildings and locations not included on the guided tour. Everything is well-maintained and the tour guide... More 

Helpful?
Thank LisaJane222
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The classes are great! and the Cloister is too! A definite stop when visiting Lancaster County! The family will love it.

Helpful?
Thank emsullivan1
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It's a bit strange being one of the few people here. I've been several times over the decades, and it doesn't change (nor should it). Please take time to breathe in the air. It's a place for quiet reflection

Helpful?
Thank alexisaudet
Maine
Level Contributor
172 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2016

We were lucky enough to be in the area the week between Christmas and New Years... the only time of the year "Lantern Tours" are offered! When I called for a reservation, they were fully booked... but we got lucky! The person who took my call was sympathetic to our plight--we'd traveled a long way! We were added to a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Walter B
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2016

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and passionate about the history of this unique religious community. A small but informative museum gave more insights. Gift shop has a wide variety to choose from.

Helpful?
Thank Linda W
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2016 via mobile

Even if you are a bit nutters. I suggest going on the tour which gives background and understanding of how the community lived and what they believed in. I asked for a comparison and contrast between this community and the Shakers and found the answer to be quite interesting.

Helpful?
Thank EL V
York, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 December 2016

We took the tour which was very thorough. The tour guide was outstanding! The history of the Ephrata Cloister was very interesting. Take some time to visit the cemetery and look at the headstones.

Helpful?
Thank dzolin8
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016

Disappointed in this stop. I think we read that it would cost seniors $9 and there would be a guided tour and also available was a cell phone self guided tour. It cost us $20 a piece and no tour was offered. There was 3 people in the building. Person who tokk our money and no clue as to a... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Bruce H
ConradBeissel, General Manager at Ephrata Cloister, responded to this review

I'm sorry that your visit was less than satisfactory. But I do thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our Senior admission price is $9/person (65+) and $10 for Adults, so how you were each charged $20 is something I will be looking into. I will be sure to review all procedures with this individual before she is scheduled... More 

Virginia
Level Contributor
341 reviews
159 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016

Without the tour, I think you're really missing the heart of the place. It was excellently done with lots of chance to ask questions. The people that lived here were led by a very charismatic single individual who successfully (during his time) managed to live out his view of how life is to be lived. And he did it with... More 

Helpful?
Thank Hatzlacha

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?