Special Places: Painted Churches of Central Texas
It might seem that Texas was built by cowboys and renegades, but the Lone Star State welcomed a host of immigrants, including Germans and Czechs, who built churches to remind them of their homeland. A century later, more than a dozen of these elaborately decorated churches dot Central Texas, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Several can be found in the town of Schulenburg, located about halfway between San Antonio and Houston. Visitors are surprised when they first see the unassuming Gothic Revival churches, but because of their elaborate interior design, they’ve earned the descriptor of painted churches. In some sanctuaries, every surface seems to be adorned. Many have murals, frescos and stenciling. There’s also liberal use of faux techniques: What appears to be gold leaf, marble or granite is actually painted wood. Group tours are available.
Photo: Rural Texas Tourism