BERLIN The Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center chronicles the history of Amish and Mennonite culture and features a 10-foot by 265-foot circular mural, called Behalt.

The oil-on-canvas mural illustrates the heritage of the Amish and Mennonite people from their Anabaptist beginnings in Zurich, Switzerland, to the present day. Behalt means "to keep" or "remember."

One of only four cycloramas in North America, Behalt is distinguished as the work of solely one artist - from original research and conception to charcoal sketches and final oils-on-canvas production of this historic masterpiece. Certain colors dominate various historical periods: reds for times of persecution, blues and greens for times of greater peace and tolerance.

It is the work of Heinz Gaugel, a self-taught artist from southern Germany who completed the mural in 1992.

Visitors will be taken on a 30-minute guided tour by local Amish and Mennonite guides, who will point out the highlights of the painting. Tours include a 15-minute video on the local plain community.

The museum, which is free of charge, features Amish apparel, a collection of rare Amish and Mennonite books and local artifacts.

Other buildings at the site include a restored pre-Civil War one-room school, where visitors can learn about Amish education. In the pioneer barn, people can see an Amish buggy display and an original Conestoga wagon that brought early settlers from Pennsylvania to this region.

 

Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center

Where: 5798 County Road 77, Millersburg

Phone: 330-893-3192

For more information: www.behalt.com