Sea captains and Revolutionary War soldiers are buried in the adjacent cemetery.
A church built in 1646 in Tinicum was the first Christian church built in the Delaware Valley and is Gloria Dei’s predecessor.
The present day church — the oldest church in Pennsylvania and the oldest brick building in Philadelphia — was built between 1698 and 1700 to serve a parish of Swedish settlers who lived along the banks of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers. The church’s baptismal font was crafted in 1731.
In 1845, it joined the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. The interior was renovated, and balconies were added.
Gloria Dei is a National Historic Site.
Just below the organ are carvings of two angels dating from the early 1700s. Miniature wooden replicas of ships that carried Swedish settlers are also suspended from the church ceiling, along with a carving of the angel Gabriel.
Events & More
The Lucia Fest is held each December, featuring a pageant with candlelight, costumes and songs. Try the Swedish Lucia buns!