Moravian Book Shop – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Moravian Book Shop

One of the world's oldest continually operating bookstores. 


Located in the historic downtown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Moravian Book Shop is one of the world’s oldest continually operating bookstore in the whole world.

The store opened in 1745 by Moravian Church missionaries who came from Germany to Bethlehem, PA, in 1741, and served to import and sell devotional and liturgical materials for the Moravian community. It later grew to include other denominations besides the Moravian.

Faced with financial issues, the Moravian Church Northern Province wanted to get out of this retail business and focus on supporting their 85 congregations. Fortunately, Moravian University was in a position to take on ownership and continue the legacy of the Moravian Book Shop. The book section has remained largely the same, but the store now also offers textbooks and Moravian College merchandise.

The store also sells Christmas decor year-round, including hundreds of Moravian Stars, also called Advent Stars, which were first produced in 19th-century Germany.

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October 13, 2023

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