The history of the Amana Colonies, a National Historic Landmark and one of America?s longest-lived communal societies, begins in 1714 in the villages of Germany and continues today on the Iowa prairie. In turbulent 18th century Germany in the midst of a religious movement called Pietism, two men, Eberhard L. Gruber and Johann F. Rock, advocated faith renewal through reflection, prayer and Bible study.
Their belief, one shared by many other Pietists, was that God, through the Holy Spirit, may inspire individuals to speak. This gift of inspiration, or prophecy, was the basis for a religious group that began meeting in 1714 and became known as the Community of True Inspiration. Though the Inspirationists sought to avoid conflict, they were persecuted for their beliefs. Eventually the Inspirationists found refuge in central Germany settling in several estates, including the 13th century Ronneburg castle.