In 1846, a group of Swedish immigrants seeking religious freedom left their native land under the guidance of their charismatic spiritual leader, Erik Jansson. The site for their new utopia, later called Bishop Hill, was described to them as a “land of plenty, brimming with milk and honey,” and they struggled to make it so. These Janssonists built a successful communal society based on economic and religious principles. Many of the structures erected during this building campaign still exist. The colony grew and flourished for fifteen years before disbanding in 1861.
Today Bishop Hill is a quiet country village where the charm and character of the original colony have survived the test of time. Bishop Hill is a National Landmark Village, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and it is an Illinois State Historic Site. Join us! We invite you to taste the history of this once-bustling 19th century settlement. Sample our fascinating museums, quaint eateries, unique gift shops, and art galleries. Peek into the past at our seasonal festivals and holiday celebrations. Spend hours or days here with family and friends.
Renew your spirit in this peaceful place.
Discover why Bishop Hill remains a utopia on the prairie today!
Held at the Colony School Friday and Saturday from 9am-4pm. Local elves make cookies that are sure to please everyone.
Swedish traditions come alive with folk characters causing mischief throughout the village. Music and the smell of food fills the air. Shops are filled with handmade items, antiques, folk art, and other gift items. 10am-5pm read moreDecember 05 To December 06 - Chocolate Walk
Held at the new Arts Council Welcome Center. Many Chocolate treats will be available for you to enjoy. Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm.