History & Culture

Gloria Dei (Old Swedes') Episcopal Church in South Philadelphia is the oldest church building in Pennsylvania, and among the oldest in the country. The attractive building, constructed of Flemish bond, and black header brick, was built between 1698 and 1700 for Swedish settlers. After serving as the Swedish Lutheran Church for almost 150 years, Gloria Dei became part of the Episcopal Church in 1845.

Gloria Dei Church was designated as a National Historical Site in 1942, six years before Independence Hall. The Gloria Dei congregation owns and maintains the church and the related buildings, its ministry and the grounds. The National Park Service has provided the church with additional land to create an appropriate setting against the enroaching urban environment.

New Sweden

Nils Collin during the American Revolution

Gloria Dei in the 18th & 19th centuries

For more history and information, visit Gloria Dei Church's website

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

c/o Independence National Historical Park
143 S. Third Street

Philadelphia , PA 19106



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