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1741 Gemeinhaus, A Historic Bethlehem Site

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The 1741 Gemeinhaus, or community house, is believed to be the largest 18th-century log structure in continuous use in the United States. Moravian settlers lived, ate, slept, worshipped, conducted meetings, and welcomed visitors in this building in the early years while they built all the other buildings in what is now the first National Register Historic District in Pennsylvania. Today, it is home to the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem. Here, visitors will delight in the unique stories and history of the Moravians who founded Bethlehem. Opening the herringbone-patterned doors reveals that place which served the entire community as home, school, church, and workspace during Bethlehem's earliest years. You can discover how the 18th-century Moravian missionaries survived in the New World and grew their community in Bethlehem. Plus, visit the Saal to see Bethlehem’s earliest Moravian place of worship.

The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in the 1970s, as birthplace and residence of Lewis David von Schweinitz, the Father of American Mycology. Since the 1960s, the Gemeinhaus has been a part of the Moravian Museum of Bethlehem. Through funds from the Taking the World Stage Campaign, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is able to restore this building which is treasured by our community, our state, our nation, and soon to be the world.

This site is operated by Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites.

Hours / Museum Pass

Open Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday - Thursday by appointment only. Purchase your Museum Pass at the Historic Bethlehem Visitor Center.

Group Tours

Groups of 10 or more enjoy discounted admission and access to special sites unopened to the public. Click here to request your custom tour.

Special Events

From the pastoral homestead of Colonial statesman James Burnside to the one-of-a-kind decorative arts destination for discerning guests, Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites offers a range of venues that will not only make a perfect backdrop for your event but introduce your guests to Bethlehem's rich heritage.

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