What was once home to Chicago's Czech population is now the center of Chicago's Mexican-American and Latino culture.
In addition to its rich immigrant history, Pilsen is a virtual outdoor art museum. It's nearly 400 vibrant unparalleled outdoor murals tell the story of Latin America's political leaders, its religious icons, its ancient Aztecan, Mayan and Olmecan cultures and the present day struggles of the working class.
Pilsen is home to over three hundred resident artists whose works are displayed at some of the area's many art galleries and at the nearby National Museum of Mexican Art, the largest of its kind in America, which serves as a repository of works by local artists and artisans and other Mexican artists of world renown.
The architecture of Pilsen is reminiscent of Eastern Europe and is the oldest housing stock of any of Chicago's neighborhoods surviving the era of Great Fire of 1871. But today, 18th Street, Pilsen's main thoroughfare, looks more like a snapshot of a genuine Mexican village. Ranchero music can be heard emanating from local store fronts and signage is wholly Spanish. Local churches are old world places of worship built in the image and likeness of those in Czech,Polish and Lithuanian villages.
In brief, Pilsen may be Chicago's best immersion experience for an understanding of ethnic traditions, cultural art, early Chicago architecture and the story of immigrant transition. No doubt, it is a classroom for the study of cultural richness.
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||Nuevo Leon Bakery... 1634 W. 18th Street
$30 per person. No Credit Cards.
$40 per person for groups of just two people.
See the FAQ page for policies regarding discounted costs for children under 14.