BETHLEHEM, Pa., borough of North ampton and Lehigh Counties, on the Lehigh river and canal, and on the Lehigh Valley, the Central of New Jersey, the Pennsylvania and the Lehigh and New England railroads, 57 miles north of Philadelphia. It is prominent both as a manufacturing centre, the seat of im portant steel and other works, and as a musi cal centre, sometimes referred to as the ((Amer kan Bayreuth) and the 4Antetican Oberam mergau.) Among its prominent buildings are those of the Moravian college and theological seminary, the Moravian seminary for girls, the Church of the Nativity, Saint LuIce's Hos pital and a public library, while on Church and neighboring streets are notable dwellings built in the 17th century style of domestic architecture of eastern Germany. On the opposite side of the river, here spanned by three bridges, is South Bethlehem (q.v.), the seat of Lehigh University, of the Lthigh Valley Railroad Com pany, of the faraous Bethlehem steel worlcs and other important manufacturing establish ments. Monocacy Creek separates Bethlehem from West Bethlehem, formerly a separate borough but since 1904 consolidated with Beth lehem borough. Bethlehem was founded in 1741 by Moravians or United Brethren under Couat Nikolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, shortly before Christmas, which suggested its name, and it has remained ever since the chief centre of the Moravian sect in the United States.
The old colonial hall in the seminary, built in 1748, was used as a general hospital for the Continental army during the Revolutionary War, and over 500 soldiers lie buried in West Bethlehem. On festival and funeral occasions, the old European custom of trumpet playing from the tower was early established and Beth lehem soon became recognized as a musical centre, Benjamin Franklin recording his im pressions of the fine orchestral music rendered in the church. In modem days, under the directorship of J. Frederick Wolle, a pupil of Rheinberger and organist of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem attained a conspicuous po sition in the musical world from the institution of an annual festival largely devoted to the compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach. The first organized festival was held in 1901 and attracted considerable attention, lasting for three days. During Mr. Wolle's absence in California, from 1906 to 1911, when he gave annual Bach festivals at Berkeley, the Bethler bem festivals were discontinued, but were re sumed on his return in 1912. Pop. (1900) 7,293; (1910) 12,837. See also MORAVIAN CHURCH and MORAVIAN SEMINARY.