Schulenburg began as a farming community and was settled by German and Czech immigrants. Located halfway between San Antonio and Houston, the town became a stop on the railroad in 1873. Today, the small town is called the “Home of the Painted Churches.”
These historic churches in the countryside surrounding Schulenburg were built by the Czech immigrants to the region and are recognized for their elaborately painted interiors and details such as faux marble columns, all reminders of the homeland they had left behind.
The church doors are usually open so it’s worth a stop to see if you might be able to take a peek at the beautiful interiors. The Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce offers guided group tours with prior arrangements and also offers maps to the locations. You’ll also find more details about these churches on the PBS documentary “The Painted Churches of Texas” and its accompanying website, www.klru.org/paintedchurches.
Historic homes. Schulenburg is home to more than a dozen historic landmarks, and you can get a complete list of them from the Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce. 618 N. Main St.
Painted Churches Tour. The Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce provides guides for tour groups or Individuals are welcome to enjoy a self-guided tour; maps of the church locations are available at the Schulenburg Chamber office at 618 N. Main Street. If you don’t get a map from the Chamber, be sure you do get a map with county roads or use the Google maps provided to get the detail you’ll need. The Texas state map won’t show the small Farm to Market and County Roads you’ll need for this excursion!
Praha. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church is known for its spectacular painted ceiling.
Dubina. The murals of the Cyril and Methodius Church were uncovered by a local parishioner.
Ammannsville. (pictured, right) The stained glass windows of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church illustrate the Czech history of the area.
Hostyn. This small community is home to a grotto, a replica of France’s Grotto of Lourdes.
High Hill. Wooden columns at St. Mary’s Catholic Church are painted to resemble marble.
Schulenburg Historical Museum. Historical records, photographs, and artifacts from the town’s past are on display here. 631 Main St.
Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum. This unique museum demonstrates how the Stanzel brothers turned their love of aeronautics into a successful toy and model airplane business. You’ll see the museum’s factory section to learn how he model aircraft were originally developed and manufactured in the Stanzels’ farmhouse. In total, there are more than 30 exhibits here. 311 Baumgarten St.
Texas Polka Music Museum. Schulenburg’s Czech and German heritage is celebrated at this museum dedicated to the history of traditional polka music. It features memorabilia related to all things polka: instruments, old band uniforms, recordings, band photos and schedules, and polka DJ playlists and program notes. 625 N. Main St.
Von Minden Hotel. Local lore insists that this old hotel is haunted by the ghosts of its original owners, Ruby and Ben Speckles. Another story recalls a returning World War II soldier who waited in vain for his sweetheart to join him there. After waiting all night, the soldier committed suicide by jumping from an upper-floor window. This was purported to be the inspiration for the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel.” 607 Lyons Ave.
Schulenburg Festival. This four-day celebration features live entertainment, a carnival, chili and barbecue cookoffs, softball and golf tournaments, arts and crafts and lots of fun for the children. Wolters Park, 1103 Bohlmann St.
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