Czech Village History in Cedar Rapids, Iowa


Cedar Rapids is a city that is home to thousands of Bohemian, Moravian and Slovak immigrants and their descendants since the turn of the Century. Many more homesteaded and settled the farms and small towns surrounding Cedar Rapids. The Czech Village is a restored section of what was the shopping district for many of those immigrants.

These central Europeans, have made lasting contributions to the Cedar Rapids community. They began arriving in 1852 to work in local packing plants, and soon a "Little Bohemia" was established in the southwest sector of the city, now known as "Czech Village”. Josef Sosel, the first Czech lawyer in the United States, was smuggled out of his native country in a barrel after he was accused of revolutionary activities. Sosel settled in Cedar Rapids, where he played a prominent role in the Czech community. In 1869 Czechs established The Reading Society, which evolved into a Little Theater movement, as well as the Light Guard Band. The Czech-language newspaper, Cedar Rapids Listy began publication in 1906. In 1870, a school was established to teach children the czech language. It still exists today.


Sykora Bakery

originally C.K. Kosek Bakery
circa 1912

Today, Czech Village is the home of a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library is located in Czech Village.

We like to think of Czech Village as the heartbeat of Cedar Rapids.

Come visit us today and see how the past has inspired us to build a better future for Cedar Rapids.

czech cottage.jpg

16th Ave SW

looking N.E. across C St.
The Czech Cottage is the first building
on the left and was originally a pharmacy
from 1901 until 1973