Who are the Moravians?
Moravians, followers of a mainstream protestant religion, settled here in Winston-Salem 250 years ago and have contributed significantly to the area’s rich culture. This denomination originated in the Czech Republic around 1415 from the followers of Jan Hus. These missionaries made their way from Germany to Pennsylvania, and then settled in Winston-Salem on 10,000 acres known as the Wachovia Tract. Many of the area attractions serve to preserve the history of these settlers and educate visitors about their origins and influence.
Locations of Interest
Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Location: 600 South Main Street, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Three of Winston-Salem's four national historic landmarks are located in this living history town. As the Moravians were meticulous record keepers, the prospect of restoration and reconstruction of more than 100 of the 1766 church town's structures with exacting detail has been achieved.
Historic Bethabara Park
Location: 2147 Bethabara Road, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Bethabara was the first colonial settlement established in the Carolina Piedmont. The town was intended to be a temporary town from which the central Moravian town of Salem and outlying farming communities would be developed within the Moravian lands of Wachovia. However, Bethabara continued in operation as a Moravian community long after Salem was established.
Bethabara was the only "house of passage" built by the Moravians at any of their colonial settlements in the New World. Archeological investigations have demonstrated the Bethabara archeological remains at the site are intact and this work has contributed to a significant understanding of the Moravian culture, in particular the manufacture of Moravian pottery.
Location: 5393 Ham Horton Lane, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Founded June 12, 1759, Bethania remains the only continuous, independent Moravian settlement in North Carolina. An active residential community, Bethania exists as a planned Germanic-type linear agricultural village, featuring 18th, 19th, and 20th century homes, c. 1809 Bethania Moravian Church, c. 1760 God's Acre (Moravian Graveyard), Bethania AME Zion Church and Graveyard, the Bethania Historical Association, Bethania Antiques Emporium, and the recently renovated c. 1899 Bethania Mill and Village Shoppes - all within a short stroll or drive from the Historic Bethania Visitor Center.
In Historic Bethania, view unique, picturesque Moravian architecture, including homes under active restoration, and explore Bethania's cultural landscape, including a journey into the historic Black Walnut Bottom. Tour Bethania's first restored museum home, ca. 1790s Wolff-Moser House, providing insight into Moravian farmstead life, and step inside the Alpha Chapel, built in 1894, an ideal location for weddings and functions.
Single Sisters’ House
Location: Old Salem, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Single Sisters House, a national landmark of women’s achievement, is the earliest remaining building in the remarkable history of Salem Academy and College. Built in 1785, and enlarged in 1819,it is one of the most significant buildings in the history of women’s education in the United States. The Single Sisters House is currently undergoing restoration, and in April 2007 it will be dedicated anew to all of the women who have passed through Salem’s halls.
Single Brothers' House
Location: Old Salem, Academy and Main Street, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Restored example of a Germanic half-timbered construction (1768-86) in the Moravian planned community of Salem. It was used as a trade school for Moravian boys and as a dormitory for master craftsmen, journeymen and apprentices.
Old Salem Museums & Gardens in the Fall
Photo provided courtesy of Old Salem Museums & Gardens
Historic Bethabara Park
Photo courtesy of Historic Bethabara Park
Photo provided by John Rolland
Moravian Culture in Winston-Salem, NC
History comes to life in Winston-Salem, where some of the best-preserved colonial heritage sites in the country can be found. Members of the Moravian sect settled in the area in the mid-18th century.
Winston-Salem is located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean beaches. It is easily accessible by car via Interstate 40, Business Interstate 40, Interstate 77, Interstate 85 and U.S. Highway 52. Scheduled air service is available through Piedmont Triad International Airport just 20 minutes east of Winston-Salem. Accommodations range from bed and breakfasts to luxury hotel rooms. For more information on Winston-Salem, call toll free 866.728.4200; go to www.visitwinstonsalem.com; or stop by the Winston-Salem Visitor Center, 200 Brookstown Avenue in the historic Brookstown Mill area just south of downtown Winston-Salem.
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