A View of Bethlem the Great Moravian Settlement in the Province of Pennsylvania
Artist: Pownall, Governor
The Protestant group known as the Moravians originated in what is now the Czech Republic in the 15th century. They were followers of Jan Hus and were one of many religious groups to migrate to America to spread their religious beliefs. In 1741 the Moravians settled on land beside the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania (an area known for its tolerance of religious ideas). The town was named Bethlehem and it became the centre of the Moravian religious community. The town was carefully designed around a central open square and a Gemeinhaus, or community house. Buildings such as schools and factories were located around this central area.