Ephrata (English: , Pennsylvania Dutch: Effridaa) is a borough in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States, south east of Harrisburg and about west by north of Philadelphia. It is named after Ephrath, a biblical town in what is now Israel. Ephrata's sister city is Eberbach, Germany, the city where its founders originated. In its early history, Ephrata was a pleasure resort and an agricultural community. It is also home to the famous wooden pillow.
Ephrata's population has steadily grown over the last century. In 1900, 2,452 people lived there, in 1910, 3,192, and by 1940, the population had increased to 6,199. The population was 13,394 at the 2010 census. Ephrata is the most populous borough in Lancaster County.
Ephrata is noteworthy for having been the former seat of the Mystic Order of the Solitary, a semimonastic order of Seventh-Day Dunkers. The community, which contained both men and women, was founded by Johann Conrad Beissel in 1732.
Many of the members were well-educated; Peter Miller, second prior of the monastery, translated the Declaration of Independence into seven languages, at the request of Congress. At the period of its greatest prosperity the community contained nearly 300 persons.
The Ephrata Commercial Historic District, Ephrata Cloister, Eby Shoe Corporation buildings, Connell Mansion, Mentzer Building, and Mountain Springs Hotel are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.