Preserve America Community:
New Braunfels, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas (population 39,010) was founded in 1845 by a German nobleman, Prince Carl of Solms of Braunfels, Germany. The many artisans and craftsmen among the town’s 6,000 settlers generated industry and commerce for the entire central Texas area.
Today, the population of New Braunfels is predominately of German and Hispanic heritage, creating a vibrant and progressive culture that values its past. The Sophienburg New Braunfels Archives and Museum of History boasts over 1 million pieces in its collection of artifacts and documents of German immigrants.
Heritage Village – Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture features an 1858 house and a collection of 1800s Biedermeier furniture. The New Braunfels Railroad Museum, the McKenna Children’s Museum, and the New Braunfels Fire Museum offer insight into the area’s rich history. Visitors to downtown New Braunfels can take a self-guided walking tour to view dozens of historic buildings.
New Braunfels recently revived a traditional festival of German settlers, the Saengerfest, which was a competition of German singing societies accompanied by parades, dinners, dances, and parties. New Braunfels’ new Wein and Saengerfest celebrates music and winemaking, and features German singing societies, other musicians, artists and craftspeople, wine tastings, and cooking demonstrations.
Another popular event is the Wurstfest, a 10-day festival packed with entertainment, ethnic food and special exhibits. The annual Kindermasken Parade is a historic children’s costume parade, the oldest children’s parade still in existence. The parade is part of Folkfest, a living history festival with historical reenactments, live music, craft demonstrations, and children’s activities.
For more information
City of New Braunfels: www.newbraunfels.com
New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce: www.nbcham.org
National Register Travel Itinerary: www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/tx
Posted May 14, 2009