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Welcome to Ephrata Cloister

Welcome to PA History 2 G0, a series of videos produced by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC), with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These short videos serve to introduce you, the virtual visitor, to Pennsylvania's state-owned historic sites and museums as we explore the varied stories that make up the commonwealth's rich history.

In 1732, German pietist Conrad Beissel founded Ephrata Cloister, a communal society that reflects Pennsylvania's long history of religious diversity. The community is known for its art, music, printing and architecture. Allow these videos to offer a glimpse into one of Pennsylvania's most accomplished religious societies. 

 📽️ In 1732, German pietist Conrad Beissel founded Ephrata Cloister, a religious, communal society.     


📽️ The Brothers and Sisters of Ephrata Cloister wrote more than 1,000 hymns using founder Conrad Beissel's methodology for musical composition.


📽️  The Brothers at Ephrata Cloister operated a printing press from 1745 to 1792, printing roughly 100 items for the cloistered community and for the outside community.


 📽️   Ephrata Cloister educator Michael Showalter shows the works of art produced by the celibate Brothers and Sisters at Ephrata Cloister, including beautiful Fraktur lettering.



 📽️  Learn about the lives of the celibate Sisters at Ephrata, including their daily schedule and significant accomplishments in art and music.