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    NEW BRAUNFELS, TEXAS

    Comal County Seat, Texas Hill Country
    I-35 and State Hwy 46
    46 miles S of Austin
    16 miles S of San Marcos
    30 miles N of San Antonio
    13 miles NW of Seguin

    Population 36,494(2000) 27,334(1990)

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    New Braunfels History

  • The Story of our Texas' German Pilgrims: or Death March to Comal County by W. T. Block Jr.
    "...Of the first German Pilgrims to Texas in 1845... only one in four survived the walk from Indianola to New Braunfels..." more
  • New Braunfels, Texas: Pearl of the Comal-Guadalupe Valley by W. T. Block Jr.
    "Perhaps New Braunfels was to play a role in frontier Texas history only because of the reactionary conditions that existed in post-Napoleonic Europe... In the late winter of 1845, the story of the first 6,000 immigrants to land at Carlshafen, which was still a prairie, makes the first year's History of the Plymouth Pilgrims mild by comparison..." more

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and other semi-nobles from Germany had contracted to settle the "western lands" of the New Republic of Texas. The land grants were to be between the Upper Colorado and the Llano Rivers. New Braunfels and Fredericksburg were originally meant only to be way stations.

    Carl only spent a short time in the town that continues to wear his name. He returned to Europe in 1845 to marry and never returned. Meanwhile, the society that was to aid the immigrants went broke. By the time the bulk of the immigrants arrived they were stranded (in the truest sense of the word) at Indianola.

    Hundreds died on the beach and many attempted to walk across a land very different from Germany. Recent arrivals infected the settled Germans with Yellow Fever and hundreds more died. About the only benefit to come from the trek was the settlement of many towns in Victoria, DeWitt and Lavaca Counties.
  • Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels mural
    Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels mural
    TE photo
    The mural fails to convey any sense of desperation.

    Prince Carl planned on governing "his" town from the high ground where the Sophienburg Museum is today (401 Coll Street).

    Arriving about the time Texas was annexed to the U.S., the Germans found themselves in a land at war with neighboring Mexico. Between the Mexican War and the Civil War New Braunfels was the 4th largest city in Texas. They managed to avoid participating in the war with Mexico, but weren't so lucky when the Civil War broke out a few years later.

    New Braunfels grew steadily. A period of prosperity in the late 1800s built the courthouse and many elaborate Victorian homes and buildings

    The International and Great Northern Railroad came to town, followed by the Missouri, Kansas City and Texas. Railroad spurs laid to Landa Park began New Braunfel's tourism industry with excursion trains from towns as far away as Taylor and Elgin.

    The New Braunfels Square

    Comal County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2013

    The Comal County Courthouse >
    An 1898 design by J. Reily Gordon. It is nearly identical to Gordon's Lee County Courthouse (1897) in Giddings.

    The New Braunfels Square
    An unusual design, but practical. Traffic circles are terrors to those unaccustomed to them, but the corners provide a safe harbor. Reaching the fountain in the center of the island gives one a feeling of accomplishment for having reached it in one piece - the pedestrian can then rest while they consider a plan for re-crossing.

    The two statues - one Confederate and one "Doughboy" were donated years apart - but both were donated by Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Clousnitzer.

    Statue and courthouse
    Confederate soldier
    and courthouse
    TE photo

    The Doughboy Statue
    (dedicated November 11, 1937)
    TE photo

    There is also a beautiful fountain and a Friendship Tree - symbolizing some sort of bond between New Braunfels and "Old" Braunfels - back in Germany.
    Faust Street Bridge c.1887
    One of the more interesting bridges in this part of Texas is the old Faust Street Bridge c.1887 over the Guadalupe River. The water is usually clear and the fish can be clearly seen.

    The bridge just underwent a restoration in 1998 and benches have been provided for fish watching.
    New Braunfels, Texas, Faust Street Bridge
    Faust Street Bridge
    Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006
    Faust Street Bridge nameplate, New Braunfels Texas
    1887 Faust Street Bridge plate
    Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006
    View of Guadalupe River and RR Bridge in  New Braunfels TX
    View of the railroad bridge over the Guadalupe River
    Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006
    Another view of the Guadalupe River
    Photo courtesy Chia-Wei Wang, August 2006
    More Texas Bridges | Texas Rivers
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    More New Braunfels Landmarks/Attractions
    A mural just off the square shows landscapes, flora, fauna and indigenous peoples of the region. There's also an 20-foot image of Ferdinand Jakob Lindheimer - the botanist who spent a good part of his life classifying Texas flora.
    TE Photo
    Lindheimer mural in New Braunfels
    The Lindheimer Home
    (c. 1852) is included on the city's driving tour. Many of the plants named by Lindheimer are growing today on the grounds of his former property.
    491 Comal St. Admission.
    TE Photo
    Lindheimer house
  • The Children's Museum - 386 W. San Antonio. Admissions
  • Clear Springs Aviaries and Zoological Gardens -
    35-acre park home to over 200 species of exotic birds and animals, 2000 species of exotic plants. I-35 South, Exit 182. 830-606-6029. Admission.
  • Conservation Plaza - Showcasing preserved buildings owned by the New Braunfels Conservation Society. 1300 Church Hill Dr. Admission
  • Dry Comal Creek Vineyards - 6 miles West of New Braunfels. On Hervelin Road off Hwy 46 West. 830-885-4121
  • Gruene Historic Distict - In the New Braunfels City Limits
    A village established by German immigrants before 1850. Today a popular tourists destination. Includes old homes, stores, galleries, beer hall, and inns. Designated a Historic Town by the State of Texas.
    Old Gruene Market Days - the third weekend from February through November, and the first weekend in December.
  • The Henne Hardware Company (c.1893) - 246 W. San Antonio Street
  • Lake - Canyon Lake
  • Landa Park/ Comal Springs - Scenic city parknear downtown.
    196 acres. Site of the annual Wurstfest.
    New Braunfels has Texas' shortest river - the 2.6 mile long Comal River, whose source and confluence (with the Guadalupe) are within the city limits.
  • Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture - In the historic Andreas Breustedt home, circa 1858. 1370 Church Hill Dr. Admission
  • New Braunfel's Fire Museum - Fire Station One - First block of Hill Street
  • New Braunfels Museum of Art and Music - 800-456-4866
    Smithsonian-affiliated museum.
    1257 Gruene Road in Gruene Historic District. Admission.
  • Railroad Museum - 102 N. Hill Street in the Old New Braunfels Depot (c.1891)
  • Schlitterbahn - 400 N. Liberty St. 830-625-2351. Admission.
  • Snake Farm - I-35 South, Exit 182. 830-608-9270
  • Sophienburg Museum - 401 W. Coll St. at Academy Ave. Admission
  • Wagenfuehr Home and Buckhorn Barbershop Museum -
    521 West San Antonio St. Admission
  • Brauntex Theater, New Braunfels
    fountain architectural detail
    The Brauntex Theater - now open for live performances
    TE photo

    Faust fountain, historic Faust Hotel
    TE photo

    SCENIC DRIVES -
  • RR 32. The road runs the crest of the ridge called the "Devil's Backbone".
  • River Road - Along the Guadalupe River
    10.6-mile scenic drive between Loop 337 in New Braunfels and Canyon Lake Dam which crosses the Guadalupe River four times

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  • Maypole, New Braunfels, Texas
    Top: Gruene
    Left: Maypole near the entrance to Landa Park
    TE Photos
    New Braunels Churches
    New Braunfels Tx Sts Peter & Paul Catholic Church
    Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005
    New Braunfels Tx Prostestant Church
    New Braunfels Prostestant Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2003
    New Braunfels Tx Prostestant Church tower
    New Braunfels Prostestant Church tower
    TE photo, 2004
    More Texas Churches
    New Braunfels Chronicles
  • Lincoln Slept Here? by Mike Cox
    “Hotel Where Lincoln Stayed Still Operating,” reads the headline on the yellowed 1950 newspaper clipping. That a hotel might be in business nearly a century after Abraham Lincoln spent the night in one of its rooms would not be particularly remarkable in Illinois – say Springfield – or Washington. But the “Lincoln slept here” assertion appeared in a Texas newspaper and referred to a historic hostelry in New Braunfels... more
  • Book Hotel Here > New Braunfels Hotels
    Comal County Towns and Ghost Towns
    Comal County Seat - New Braunfels
    The Comal County Courthouse
  • Bulverde
  • Comal
  • Comal Town
  • Crobyn
  • Fischer
  • Gruene
  • Hunter
  • Sattler
  • Solms
  • Spring Branch
  • Startzville
  • Wesson

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  • New Braunfels Tourist Information
    Vistior Center - I-35 and Post Road. North of New Braunfels.
    Open daily. 800-572-2626
    New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce -
    390 E. Seguin 1-800-572-2626
    Website: www.nbcham.org
    City of New Braunfels - 424 South Castell Avenue -
    PO Box 311747 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1747
    Phone: (830) 608-2100
    http://www.ci.new-braunfels.tx.us/
    New Braunfels City Hall - (830)-625-6200.

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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    New Braunfels, Texas
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