Fredericksburg is a great place to shop and to eat and even to stay in a bed & breakfast if that’s your thing. But, I would be remiss if I did not mention that history of the place and the preservation of historic buildings that has gone on there.
Fredericksburg was one of the first German settlements in Texas and it opened the Hill Country area for a wave of German immigration in the 1800s. The town is still full of historic buildings, both on Main Street and throughout the town. If you go for the shopping and eating, take some time to see the history too – it’s part of what gives Fredericksburg its charm.
The Vereins-Kirche was the first church and community building in the town. A replica, built in 1935, still stands on the spot today and houses a small historical museum. Religion was a large part of the early settlers lives and one of the aspects I enjoyed most about Fredericksburg history, was seeing some of the little Sunday houses. Ranching and farming families built tiny houses in town to use on the weekends when they came for shopping, church, and possibly a visit to the locahall for some dancing.
There is at least one Sunday house preserved in the Pioneer Museum, but there are others about town also. You can pick up an historic district map that will point them out and if you drive around town it is pretty easy to spot some that have been remodeled into larger homes. I saw several that were originally made of stone so they looked like a little stone house, with a big wooden addition around it.
There is also an abundance of churches both old and not quite so old. We spent some time near St. Mary’s which has the original Catholic Church standing side by side with a very grand, and still quite old, cathedral style church. We parked near the Holy Ghost Church which was the home of the first Lutheran congregation (or possibly just protestant) in Fredericksburg.
There is so much to see and read about. The entire Hill Country has an interesting history, and Fredericksburg’s history is well documented and nicely presented for visitors so it’s a great place to start. Instead of just walking around noticing a cute little house there, an interesting stone building over here and all the church steeples reaching into the sky, take some time to find out what those things are. Why they are important and why they have been preserved. It will make your trip so much more than just a cute place to go shopping or some good bratwurst for lunch.
Posted by: Chris