For those who don't know, Fredericksburg is a town of about 10,000 folks in the Texas Hill Country, about 80 miles due west of Austin and about 70 miles north/northwest of San Antonio. It was founded in 1846 by Baron Otfried Hans von (John) Meusebach, originally of Dillenburg, Germany. Many towns in Texas were founded by German immigrants at this time, including New Braunfels, Comfort, and Boerne, among others.
Fredericksburg has always maintained its strong German heritage, and a walk down its streets is a constant reminder of this. The Germans in this part of the state were highly regarded for their productive farms and their excellent stone work. All over Fredericksburg, original stone homes and businesses still stand and are in daily use.
We've been to Fredericksburg so many times in the past that we have done just about everything there is to do there, so these days, we just spend our time wandering the streets, visiting the many interesting shops along Main Street, eating at some of the good restaurants in town, and sampling the excellent beer. For the first time visitor, though, there are many interesting places to visit, including:
- National Museum of the Pacific War (Fredericksburg is the home town of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz)
- Pioneer Museum
- Fort Martin Scott
- President Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in nearby Stonewall. (See "LBJ Tours: Part 2, The LBJ Ranch" for our visit here in March 2012)
- Wildseed Farms a few miles east of town. (See "Wildseed Farms" for a visit we made here in April 2012)
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area just north of town is a great place for a short hike. See "Hiking Report: Enchanted Rock State Natural Area" for a hike we did in May 2012)
But enough of what Fredericksburg has to offer. Below are some pictures I snapped on our trip.
For years, Donna and I have passed by Cross Mountain as we headed north of town to hike at Enchanted Rock. I finally decided to stop and climb the hill (it really isn't a mountain at an elevation of just over 1900 feet).
|Cross Mountain as seen from just south of the hill|
|There is a good view from the top of the hill.|
|This building is typical of the stone work found throughout the German Hill Country. Notice the elephant engraved at the top center of the building.|
|This is the National Museum of the Pacific War, with a statue of Admiral Nimitz in the foreground. The admiral was raised in this building when it was a hotel owned by his grandfather. Notice the unusual "steamboat" design just under the flag.|
|The Auslander has long been our favorite place to sample beer and German food in Fredericksburg. The windows to the left of the door - just beyond the bed of the pickup - collapse open. We like to sit right by the windows so we can watch the busy street.|
|Trees are common along Main Street, as are balconies. Both provide good shade in summer, and benches offer places to stop and watch the world go by.|
|Donna in front of some shops. We seldom buy anything, but we like to look.|
|Another building typical of the quality stonework of the area.|
|This was originally the Gillespie County Courthouse, but it is now the Pioneer Memorial Library.|
|I have no idea what this is, but it is found at Marktplatz in front of the Vereins Kirche across from the courthouse.The entire structure spins slowly.|
|The Vereins Kirche|
|A couple of art galleries on West Main Street. In this single block, there were probably 4 art galleries, give or take.|