However, in order to live out their beliefs in more isolated surroundings they moved west to the rich soil of east-central Iowa (near present-day Iowa City) in 1855. They lived a communal life until the mid 1930s. Due to this, the Amanas are sometimes mistaken as Amish.
A striking feature of the Amana Colonies is that for eighty years they maintained an almost completely self-sufficient local economy, importing very little from the wider, industrializing U.S. economy. The Amanians were able to achieve this independence and life style by adhering to the specialized handcrafts and farming occupations which they had brought with them from Germany.
Today, Amana is a major tourist attraction known mainly for its restaurants and craft shops. Included in the shops are woodworking shops, wine shops, and even a brewery called Millstream. The colonies as a whole have been listed as a National Historic Landmark since 1965.
A typical Amana home - The Amana Society, a corporation flourishing under a practical idealism, originally started with a profound religious and spiritual motive in a quest for the American way of freedom of belief and worship.
Amana Home ( Amana Heim) - Constructed of brick made from native clay, timbers hewed in the Amana forests, morised and tended without nails, restored with authentic and original furnishings of the century old Amana Colony. Thousands of visitors come every year to enjoy the quaint surroundings, to observe and partake in their unique way of eating and living.
Hahn's Bakery at Middle Amana - Bread and coffee cakes are baked in a century old stone hearth oven, using the simple recipe of a hundred years ago. Thousands of visitors come every year to enjoy the quaint surroundings and fine foods made and served in the Amana Colonies.
Krauss Furniture Shop South Amana - An Amana craftsman works on a walnut rocking chair.