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!
Stroll our luminary lined streets as music fills the air. Browse hospitality rooms, museums, and shops where coffee and sweets will be served by young girls dressed as St. Lucia. Plan a late supper; restaurants will be open late on both Friday and Saturday Enjoy a truly enchanted holiday experence from 6pm-9pm. 309-927-3899
Services are held in the Colony Church and conducted in Swedish and English. Coffee and rusk served following the service. 6am. Call 309-927-3345.
Bishop Hill springs to life as shops and museums open for the season from 10am-5pm. Guests are greeted with coffee, cookies, and special spring classes. 309-927-3899