THE LITTLE ALSACE OF TEXAS
Castroville, a First Lady’s Texas Treasures Award winner, is often considered the only remaining Alsatian community in Texas. But that’s not the only factor putting this Hill Country Trails community in its own special category. With over two hundred historic structures in town, Castroville claims one of the largest historic districts in the state. Sixty of Castroville’s buildings were constructed in the mid-1800s, giving the city’s unique architectural heritage a head start. Today, the structures highlight a self-guided walking tour featuring Castroville’s historic hot spots. In 1844, founding father Henri Castro transported Catholic Alsatian farmers to the future site of Castroville, a park-like region covered in pecan trees along the banks of the Medina River. Upon arrival, the colonists killed two deer, three bears, and one alligator. The bears and alligators are long gone but the parks, pecans, and deer remained.
Today Castroville visitors enjoy crafts shopping, river walking, and European cuisine. Overnights at the renovated Hotel Alsace, one of the numerous bed and breakfast inns, or the historic Landmark Inn State Historical Park help recreate a sense of Castroville’s old world charm. The city’s calendar stays full with festivals like St. Louis Day in August, Old Fashion Christmas in December, and special tours of the “haunted” historic buildings.
Castroville is the 2009 First Lady’s Texas Treasures Award recipient. See the story below