Pennsylvania is a playground for history buffs. Indeed, our state’s gorgeous countryside is the home to many historical sites and served as a backdrop for American history. While you’re staying at the Historic Smithton Inn, take some time to visit one of our favorite attractions: the Ephrata Cloister! Tour the site, learn about its past, and discover the heritage of the fabulous choir. Read on to learn more about the Cloister and start planning your trip today! Then, discover more amazing historical sites in our free Vacation Guide. The guide even includes our favorite local restaurants, events, shops, outdoor adventures, and more!
Your Visit to the Ephrata Cloister
Take a Journey Through American History
If you’re planning a trip to the best historical sites around Ephrata, then you’ve got to stop at the Ephrata Cloister. After all, it was one of the first religious communities in America! German settlers founded the Cloister in 1732, and today, it’s a United States National Historic Landmark. The idea behind the Cloister’s creation was to create a spiritual community consisting of celibate Brothers and Sisters as well as congregation of families. Within a few years, the hermitage grew into a thriving community with more than 300 active members.
Life in the Cloister included art and music on top of religious devotion. The community even became known for self-composed acapella music as well as Frakturschriften, a Germanic calligraphy style. The Ephrata Cloister had its own publishing center, which included a paper mill, printing office, and book bindery.
Tour the Cloister
Guests are welcome to tour the Ephrata Cloister daily. Tours include a self-guided exhibit in the Visitor Center and a guided tour of the seven historic buildings. Explore the Sister’s dormitory and the Meetinghouse, or pick up souvenirs at the Museum Store.
Listen to Delightful Music
The musical tradition of the Cloister continues today. The property has a chorus that brings to life traditional music from the past. The choraliers wear white robes patterned after the 18th-century garb that was donned by the Brothers and Sisters of Ephrata. Performances are held at the Ephrata Cloister as well as throughout the region, so be on the lookout when you’re in the area!
Your Relaxing Retreat at the Historic Smithton Inn
After a marvelous visit to the Ephrata Cloister, come home to your cozy room at the Historic Smithton Inn. Experience the charm of Pennsylvania in our lovely B&B, and relax in a soothing setting, surrounded by top-notch amenities.
Our historic inn offers a choice of six guest rooms, a cottage, and a guest house. They’re all finely decorated and boast their own unique atmosphere. Take a look at our Sage Room, for example! You’ll love the antiques and handcrafted furniture. In the evening, you can unwind in the rain shower or sip on a glass of wine by the fireplace. After a good night’s sleep, join us downstairs where a delicious homemade breakfast awaits you.