Amana, Iowa County, Iowa, 52203
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The Amana Colonies are a group of settlements of German Pietists. They lived a communal life until the mid 1930s. Today, Amana is a major tourist attraction known mainly for its restaurants and craft shops.
The Amana Colony is seven villages on 26,000 acres (11,000 ha): Amana (or Main Amana), East Amana, High Amana, Middle Amana, South Amana, West Amana, and Homestead.
For eighty years, the Amana Colony maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from the industrializing American economy. The Amanians were able to achieve this independence and lifestyle by adhering to the specialized crafting and farming occupations that they had brought with them from Europe. Craftsmen passed their skills and techniques on from one generation to the next. They used hand, horse, wind, and water power, and made their own furniture, clothes, and other goods. The community voted to form a for-profit organization during the Great Depression, the Amana Society, which included the Amana Corporation.
Today, The Seven Villages of Amana are a tourist attraction known for its restaurants and craft shops. The colony was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
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Today, heritage tourism has become important to the economy of the Amana area. Historic preservation efforts by several local non-profit organizations, as well as the Amana Society, Inc., in conjunction with governmental, land-use and historic preservation ordinances attempt to preserve the natural and built environment of Amana.
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