google.com, pub-7903114624318175, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Ephrata Cloister: Ephrata, PA | Content in a Cottage

Monday, April 5, 2021

Ephrata Cloister: Ephrata, PA


The Ephrata Cloister preserves the remains of a religious communal society founded in 1732 by German immigrant Conrad Beissel. The monastic society of brothers and sisters lived an austere life of work, study, and prayer. They ate one meal a day of grains, fruits, and vegetables, and encouraged celibacy. They even slept on wooden benches with wooden "pillows." Known for its a cappella singing and publishing, the society lived and worked in a cluster of striking buildings with steep-roofed medieval-style architecture. The last sister died in 1813.


I have never heard of this historic site in Lancaster County. The above link is from the Pennsylvania Heritage website and has more photos including some of the interior with furnishings. I haven't finished reading it yet but have it bookmarked. It is absolutely fascinating! Enjoy. xo


13 comments:

Linda Sand said...

I've often wondered how such societies expected to continue into the future while practicing celibacy. I find it hard to believe they thought there would be enough new recruits to fill such large buildings.

Content in a Cottage said...

Linda Sand -- It is an amazing story and I am surprised the buildings survived. This is the first I have heard about this Cloister and I am still reading about it.
xo, Rosemary

Pam said...

Very interesting and new to me! About 10 years ago we were driving through Lancaster and were amazed by the Amish influence on that community. I've never heard nor read about this group. I read the link you provided (thanks for including it, Rosemary!) and was impressed that the original intent was to bring people of various faiths together. Such a noble goal, yet difficult to achieve. Great post!

rejoyce said...

I live near the Ephrata Cloisters and have visited several times. Their simple life was reflected in every aspect of the community. In spite of the simplicity of their lives, their spectacular art work known as "frakturs" is very colorful and detailed. A site well worthy visiting.

mia said...

I enjoy visiting places like this, and I found this place quite fascinating when I was there. A combo of guided tours and visual presentations you can meander through on your own. They also had a concert when I was there, which was lovely. Well worth the visit, and try to arrange a visit when they have a concert. I think the one thing that would really get to me if I had lived here were those "beds", more like very narrow benches build into the wall. No wonder this experiment didn't last. But you have to admit the buildings are very handsome.

mia said...

One more thing--Lititz isn't far away. You can stop by the Wilbur Chocolate factory. I think we'd all agree that one meal a day diet would not be a fulfilling lifestyle. A chocolate a day will put you in a good frame of mind to accomplish worthwhile things throughout the day.

momto1 said...

I’ve often wondered what Ephrata Cloister was all about. I see the signs for it, but we’re always on our way somewhere else. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! I’m going to have to make a point of going there when things open up again.

Linda Sand said...

I know people who are happy eating one meal a day; their meal is a full pound of grass-fed ground beef with a variety of flavorings. While I like ground beef, I'd prefer the chocolate. :)

Content in a Cottage said...

rejoyce -- I saw many of the frakturs in various articles I read and they are indeed spectacular. Thanks for bringing them up. You are fortunate to live near such an interesting place.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

Pam -- I am glad you enjoyed the article. The original intent to bring people of different faiths together was a noble goal. I had never heard of this Historic Site either.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

mia -- If I ever go, I will try to attend when they are having a concert. And go to Wilbur Chocolate Factory afterward. Those beds do sound horrid. Thanks for the tips.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

momto1 -- Enjoy the trip when you go. It's always better when you have a little information about the history beforehand and now you do.
xo, Rosemary

Content in a Cottage said...

Linda Sand -- I would prefer the chocolate too.
xo, Rosemary