Bohemian National Cemetery

The Bohemian National Cemetery is a part of Chichago, Illinois' rich cultural heritage and an important part of the city's history. The cemetery was established in 1877 by the Bohemian National Benevolent Society (BNBS) as a place for Czech-Americans to lay their deceased loved ones to rest with dignity and respect. It has become a popular tourist destination due to its unique architecture, stunning views, and historical significance.


The cemetery is located on Chicago's North Side along Fullerton Avenue near Grant Park and Lake Michigan. It covers over 50 acres of land with more than 40,000 gravesites and is one of the largest cemeteries in Illinois. Its grounds are expertly landscaped and contain multiple monuments dedicated to fallen soldiers from World Wars I & II, plus other conflicts, such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

What Is It Famous for?

The Bohemian National Cemetery is known for its unique, distinct architecture. Its main entrance is an impressive stone archway built in 1912 and has become a popular meeting place for visitors to the cemetery. Inside the grounds are several other notable monuments, including a bronze statue of St. Wenceslaus and a granite memorial honoring Czech soldiers who died fighting for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Additionally, two chapels are on site – one Catholic and one Protestant – and mature trees, winding pathways, and beautiful gardens create a peaceful atmosphere perfect for reflection or remembrance.

Unique Features

One of Bohemian National Cemetery's most unique features is its "Kolace" – a special Czech pastry made of dough and filled with fruits, cheese, or nuts. This traditional treat has been served at funerals in the cemetery since it first opened and continues to be offered today to honor the deceased.

The grounds also contain two mausoleums that house remains from some of Chicago's earliest settlers. Both structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offer visitors a glimpse into the city's past. Moreover, several permanent markers are situated throughout the grounds that commemorate various battles fought by Czech soldiers during World War I & II and other historical conflicts.

You Can Also See Wildlife

The cemetery is also home to plenty of wildlife, such as deer, foxes, and rabbits, adding to its peaceful atmosphere. You can stroll around its grounds and admire the wildlife in its natural habitat.