Comal River became famous when Ripley's Believe It or Not featured it as
the shortest river in the world. The 2.5-mile river rises from Comal Springs in
Landa Park where it fuels a swimming
pool, past Schlitterbahn, and meets the Guadalupe
River in the heart of downtown New
Braunfels. The Comal is more popular with tubers and swimmers, while the Guadalupe
is more choppy and rapid and is favored by canoeists. The Comal is one of the
largest springs in Texas with 8 million gallons of water flowing through every
hour. The water is pure, clear and cold, about 23-29 Celsius. |
explorers 'discovered' Comal Springs in 1691 and found many Indian tribes living
there, who referred to it as Conaqueyadesta meaning 'where the river has its source'.
In an excerpt from his diary, Espinosa, who accompanied Domingo Ramon's expedition
in 1716, described it this way: "Groves of inexpressible beauty are found in this
vicinity. The waters of the Guadalupe are clear, crystal and so abundant that
it seemed almost incredible to us that its source arose so near. It makes a delightful
grove for recreation." Comal is the Spanish word for basin, which somewhat describes
the local geography. The springs were later visited in 1764 by French explorer
St. Denis, and eventually became a stop on the El Camino Real.
immigrants arrived, they called Comal Springs Las Fontanas and purchased the 1,300
acres around it for $1,111. By 1860, they had installed several mills, wool and
cotton factories, a paper mill, an ice plant and a brewery along the springs.
They also harnessed the water for their public water supply and electrical power.
From 1896 until the Depression, the park was a private recreational
area owned by Harry Landa. The City of New
Braunfels then bought the springs in 1946 and turned it into a municipal park.
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The Meaning of "comal"
First of all, thank you for your service! It has been very helpful.
like to note that "comal" does not mean basin in Spanish. For starters, it is
an indigenous word in origin accepted into the Spanish language because of its
popular use. "Comal" is a slightly curved pan made of clay or metal on which tortillas
are cooked and coffee/cocoa beans are toasted. The Spanish word for basin is "Cuenca".
- Maritza Price, March 03, 2008
New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce
Where to Stay > New
Post Office Box 311417
(830) 625-2385 or (800) 572-2626