The May 7 visit was led by the Minister President of the federal state of Saxony.
BETHLEHAM, Pa., May 15, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Today, J. William Reynolds, Mayor of the City of Bethlehem, and Chair of the Bethlehem World Heritage Council, along with representatives of the Council, confirmed that they hosted a delegation from Germany led by the Minister President of the federal state of Saxony, Michael Krestchmer. The delegation toured Bethlehem on Sunday, May 7, 2023. This historic visit provided a unique opportunity to help celebrate the 300th Anniversary of Herrnhut and the Nomination of the Moravian Church Settlements — Herrnhut, Germany; Gracehill in Northern Ireland, UK; and Bethlehem, USA to join Christiansfeld, Denmark, inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2015.
The delegation from Saxony featured more than 30 representatives included Dr. David Michel, Head of Department International Relations; members of the Saxony State Parliament; Susan Leithoff, Vice Chairwoman to CDU-group; Franziska Schubert, Chairwoman to GRÜNE-group; and Albrecht Pallas, SPD-group. Members of the Consulate General's Office in the delegation will include Consulate General David Gill and Vice Consulate Alexander Bartholdt, along with the Mayor of Herrnhut, Willem Riecke.
The Bethlehem World Heritage Council includes Mayor J. William Reynolds; Lamont McClure,
Executive, Northampton County; Curtis Hank Barnette, Vice-Chair; Charlene Donchez Mowers, Senior Advisor & Historian; Dr. Bryon Grigsby, President of Moravian University; Dan Soos, Chief Executive Officer of Bethlehem Area Moravians; Bishop Hopeton Clennon, Central Moravian Church; and LoriAnn Wukitsch, President of Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites.
On Sunday, May 7 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, Mayor Reynolds welcomed the delegation to Bethlehem City Hall for a meeting with the members of the Bethlehem World Heritage Council followed by a performance from the Bach Choir of Bethlehem at Central Moravian Church and a visit to Moravian University's Priscilla Payne Hurd campus for lunch, hosted by President Bryon Grigsby.
The day's agenda also included a tour of the 10-acre Moravian Church Settlements–Bethlehem Site, which has a boundary that is established by the boundary of the Historic Moravian Bethlehem National Historic Landmark District and includes God's Acre, the 1741 Gemeinhaus, other buildings and the Colonial Industrial Quarter. The delegation ended the tour with a visit to the Moravian Archives.
Herrnhut, located in Saxony, Germany was established in 1722 when a group of members of the Moravian Church found refuge on the estate of Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. From here in the 1700s, the Moravian Church sent out missionaries and established an international network of Moravian Church Settlements, including Bethlehem and Gracehill, Northern Ireland/UK.
The World Heritage List recognizes cultural and natural sites of universal importance. There are 1,154 sites in 167 countries that have signed the World Heritage Convention. Currently there are 24 World Heritage Sites in the United States.
The final decision on inclusion on the World Heritage list will be made by the World Heritage Committee, composed of representatives from 21 nations elected from the members of the World Heritage Convention and advised by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
Stephanie Augello, City of Bethlehem, (610)-997-7921, [email protected]
SOURCE City of Bethlehem