Our Origins in
Historic Moravian Bethlehem
Live steps away from Historic Moravian Bethlehem.
At Moravian Village of Bethlehem, we proudly trace our roots directly to the Moravian settlers who founded this progressive community on the banks of the Lehigh River and Monocacy Creek in 1741, and continue to foster the mission of enrichment of the human spirit through friendship, education and the arts.
Our residents are endlessly inspired by the vibrant energy that has kept the Historic Moravian Bethlehem community thriving for over 280 remarkable years…and proud to be a part of it!
The Old Chapel, erected in 1751 on Heckewelder Place, is home to chapel services, and continues to be a beloved venue for weddings and memorial services. During the American Revolutionary War, many individuals of historic importance were hosted in Bethlehem and were welcomed by the inclusive Moravian community.
Distinguished leaders known to have worshipped in the Old Chapel at the time include:
- George and Martha Washington
- Benjamin Franklin
- John Adams
- Samuel Adams
- John Hancock
- Ethan Allen
- The Marquis de Lafayette
The Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, was founded in 1993 to coordinate the sites, museums, artifacts and traditions of Historic Moravian Bethlehem. The group is a founding member of the International Moravian Heritage Network and serves to highlight the community on the global stage.
Historic Moravian Bethlehem is a candidate for inscription on the World Heritage List and will be honored to receive international acknowledgement, bestowed upon the community for its wealth of historical and cultural value.
The World Heritage List encourages the recognition and preservation of cultural and/or natural sites determined to be of “Outstanding Universal Value” to humanity, and includes globally iconic sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens, Greece; and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Confirmation of the designation is anticipated in 2024.
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