The Return of the Popular Church and Chapel Tour
Contact: LoriAnn Wukitsch, Managing Director, 610-882-0450 ext. 16
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 2, 2014
Church and Chapel tour: to give inside look at the oldest places of worship in Bethlehem
The Christmas season is coming to a close, the winter chill is settling in, but Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is warming up the new year with an exciting interior tour of the first three worship spaces in Bethlehem.
Back by popular demand for a third year, the Church and Chapel tour begins in the oldest building in town, Bethlehem’s 1741 Gemeinhaus, where the Moravians who founded Bethlehem first worshiped over 270 years ago. Discover the traditions behind the Moravian worship service, including the long-standing emphasis on music in Bethlehem.
New to 2014: Hear the in-depth story of America’s oldest Bach Choir, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and its renowned founder J. Fred Wolle. Wolle led the choir in America’s first performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor which led to Central Moravian Church’s designation as a National Landmark of Music.
Next, walk the very path the Bethlehem founders took through the Gemeinhaus into the 1751 Old Chapel. Here, in the 2nd place of worship, visitors will get a chance to experience this rarely open historic structure and learn about the layout of a traditional Moravian worship space, the separation of the congregation into a “choir system”, and be enamored by the simple elegance of the chapel’s design.
After touring this popular wedding venue, guests will be guided next door to Central Moravian Church. Once inside, your tour guide will give a history of the construction and alterations to the church over time. Discover what exactly is holding up the iconic belfry, hear the chilling story of the fire that almost destroyed this historic structure, and experience the overwhelming architectural beauty Central Moravian affords.
Tours are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm beginning Jan. 18 and ending Feb. 23. Tickets are available online at www.HistoricBethlehem.org , at the Visitor Center at 505 Main Street, 1-800-360-TOUR or at the Moravian Museum, 66 West Church Street. Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages 5 and under.
Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites is a not-for-profit institution that brings to life three centuries of American history. Historic Bethlehem tells the story of a small town of great influence, home to some of our nation’s earliest settlers, to America’s first municipal water pumping system, and to one of the world’s greatest industrial companies. Historic Bethlehem is located in eastern Pennsylvania, only a 1.5 hour drive from Philadelphia to the North and 2 hours west of New York City. Historic Bethlehem is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For more information please call 1-800-360-TOUR or visit www.HistoricBethlehem.org.