New Braunfels

Hill Country Trail Region

Texans of Teutonic ancestry feel a special kinship with the community of New Braunfels. Perhaps it’s the Germanic roots, the likes of which can still be seen throughout the region. Or perhaps it’s simply the plentiful beer and bratwurst. New Braunfel’s first residents included German immigrants traveling by wagontrain and led by Nicolaus Zink, a member of the Adelsverein (the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas). Zink, a Bavarian, guided the immigrants to a spot along the banks of Comal Creek selected by fellow Adelsverein member Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, where Zink proceeded to organize the construction of a stockade called the Zinkenburg, the first German structure in New Braunfels. The stockade is long gone but in its place the settlers built a Catholic Church, an 1850’s log structure now enclosed within the walls of the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Elsewhere in town, New Braunfels’ heritage survives, earning the city its National Trust Distinctive Destination and Texas Main Street City designation. As county seat, its restored courthouse (a participant in the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program) anchors the downtown historic district. The community was a watering stop for cattle headed to market on the Chisholm Trail in the late 1880s and Comal Springs refreshed Spanish travelers on El Camino Real de los Tejas between 1600s – early1800s. Today, New Braunfels hosts annual festivals including Wurstfest, and nearby Natural Bridge Caverns. But perhaps the most popular New Braunfels pastime includes a relaxing float down the Guadalupe River on a “toob”.

Watch the following video to learn more about New Braunfel's historic downtown. This video was produced for inclusion in the Town Square Walk Around mobile tour, more information about which you may find on the Historic Downtowns page.

New Braunfels