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Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site




Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site
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General Information

Description - Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church was built between 1698 - 1700 and is the oldest church in Pennsylvania. The Swedes preceded the English to this part of America, arriving here in 1646. For nearly two centuries, this church was a mission of the Church of Sweden. As Swedes were absorbed into the general American population, Gloria Dei became English speaking and was admitted into the Episcopal church in 1845. Revolutionary War patriots John Hansen, president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and five of General Washington's officers rest in the churchyard burial ground.

Attractions - Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church was built between 1698 - 1700 and is the oldest church in Pennsylvania. The Swedes preceded the English to this part of America, arriving here in 1646. For nearly two centuries, this church was a mission of the Church of Sweden. As Swedes were absorbed into the general American population, Gloria Dei became English speaking and was admitted into the Episcopal church in 1845. The Church is owned and maintained by its congregation and contains important historic relics and artifacts.

Revolutionary War patriots John Hansen, president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, John Morton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and five of General Washington's officers rest in the churchyard burial ground.

Recreation - Gloria Dei Church is an active house of worship, which is open to visitors for weekly services and by special arrangement.

The church exhibits items from the early log church including a Baptismal Font, the golden sprays on the lectern and pulpit and the Cherubim below the organ. Buried in the cemetery are numerous members of George Washington's army as well as the famous naturalist Alexander Wilson ("Father of American Ornithology").

Lodging facilities are nearby at The Thomas Bond House (129 S. 2nd Street, (215)925-1919)) is a restored colonial-period guest house operated under a historic lease program with the National Park Service and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many hotels, bed breakfast facilities and a youth hostel are within walking distance.

The Church and walkways from the parking lot or the street are fully accessible.

Climate - Pennsylvania generally has a moist climate with cold winters and warm summers. The National Historic Site area has cold winter months with temperatures averaging above 28 degrees Fahrenheit (above -2 degrees Celsius). The area's average summer temperatures range above 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius).

Location - The National Historic Site is located on the corner of Columbus Boulevard and Christian Street in Philapheldia, Pennsylvania.

CAR:
From northbound I-95 Exit at the Columbus Boulevard/Washington Avenue exit (#16). Turn left onto Christopher Columbus Boulevard. At the second traffic light, Christian Street, turn left. Church parking lot is on the left.

From south bound I-95 Exit at the Penn's Landing (exit 16, left hand off ramp). Turn right onto Christopher Columbus Boulevard. At the first light (Christian Street) turn right. Church parking lot is one the left.

AIRPLANE:
Philadelphia International Airport, eight miles from Center City, is served by all major domestic carriers as well as a gateway for flights from Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The SEPTA Airport Line connects the airport with Center City.

TRAIN:
Philadelphia is served by Amtrak which operates rail service along the Northeast Corridor (Boston to Washington, Atlantic City, NJ to Harrisburg, PA). Inter city service is provided to many points south and west.

BUS:
Inter city bus service is excellent, with daily arrivals from all parts of the country. The Greyhound Terminal is located at 10th & Filbert Streets, within walking distance of the park.


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More Information

Contact Information:
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church NHS, Columbus Boulevard and Christian Street , Philadelphia, PA, 19147, Phone: 215-389-1513

Additional Information:
Pennsylvania National Forests and Parks - The National Park Service boasts of having over 16 designated historical sites, battlefields, monuments, memorials, rivers and trails within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Each is significant within itself deserving the protection and maintenance from the Park Service. The National Forest Service maintains and manages one of America's finest hardwood producing territories, the Allegheny National Forest, located in the northwestern region of the state.
Philadelphia, Country-Side, Lehigh Valley Area - The Philadelphia area is historically rich and diverse in natural resources. This beautiful area beacons as a vacation destination.

Links:
Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Church National Historic Site - Official agency website

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