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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
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Sun 12:00 - 17:00
Mon - Sat 09:00 - 17:00

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 277 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 180
  • 80
    Very good
  • 8
  • 4
  • 0
Educational and friendly

We visited and really got an insight into what the Cloisters went through...educational and beautiful grounds! We also had family photos taken here as well...had to pay to get in... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Andrea M
via mobile
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277 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 272: English reviews
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We visited and really got an insight into what the Cloisters went through...educational and beautiful grounds! We also had family photos taken here as well...had to pay to get in, but the photos were incredible!

Thank Andrea M
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I found out about the Ephrata Cloister when visiting the old train depot in Ephrata, which is now an information center. The Cloister is what remains of a semi-monastic community for which the town is named, founded in the 1730's. There is such a wealth of information in the museum, the grounds are open to exploration, and you can even... More 

Thank thecooks2016
ConradBeissel, General Manager at Ephrata Cloister, responded to this review

Thanks for visiting us! We are glad you enjoyed your time with us. More 

Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
133 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2017

We enjoyed visiting the cloister and learning about some of the earliest settlers who came to Pennsylvania for religious purposes. It was cold outside, so we probably would have walked the grounds for a longer period if the weather cooperated. We skipped the hour-long tour, so we didn't see the interior of the dormitory, but you can still get the... More 

Thank Joelamountain
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2017

Somewhat interesting story about this religious community. The preserved historic buildings and grounds weres the highlight for me. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. The gift shop was not open for the season on this visit.

Thank rimiller00
Hershey, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2017

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 

Thank subianchi
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
112 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2017

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 

Thank LisaJane222
Ephrata, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviewed 14 February 2017

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

Thank emsullivan1
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2017

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

Thank alexisaudet
Level Contributor
172 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
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 

Thank Walter B
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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.

Thank Linda W

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?