Top 5 Historic Places in New Braunfels

 

Blog Edwards.jpg

 

Established in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels as a settlement for German immigrants, the town of New Braunfels is known state wide as a cradle of fascinating anthropological sites.  From cave systems to architecture, here are five of the most historically interesting locations in New Braunfels.

 

  1. Gruene Hall, the “oldest continually run dance hall in Texas”, was built in 1848 by H.D. Gruene shortly after the development of the settlement of New Braunfels.  Much of the Hall’s design remains the same - the high peaked ceiling, designed for comfortable air flow while dancing, is still a key part of the architecture.  More recently, Gruene Hall has been used as a set in a number of films, including the 1996 John Travolta movie Michael, and has featured performances from artists ranging from Gregg Allman to Robert Earl Keen to the late B.B. King.  It is also known in the Texas music scene as a prime spot for up-and-coming artists to begin to develop their craft and build an audience.  For information on upcoming concerts, visit gruenehall.com.

  2. Following the destruction and violence of World War I, the community leaders of New Braunfels, led by Walter Faust Sr., wanted to build a five star hotel to attract visitors and bring back a sense of normalcy.  As such, on October 12, 1929, two weeks before the stock market crash, the Traveler’s Hotel was built.  During the Depression, Walter Faust helped the Hotel keep its doors open, maintaining the high standard befitting one of the best hotels in Texas.  In honor of his successful efforts the building was renamed the Faust Hotel in 1936.  The Faust, along with the Faust Brewing Company, remains a popular spot for visitors to stay and locals to socialize.  Check out fausthotel.com for reservations.

  3. In January of 1942, the Brauntex Theatre was built.  Due to its Art Deco design, classy interior, and quality programming, it quickly became known as the best movie establishment in New Braunfels.  While the Brauntex was a major social gathering point for many decades (including the 1960s, following a successful and unusually copacetic racial integration program), by the 1990s it began to lose its lustre.  In 1999, a group of civic leaders, seeing the building’s potential beneath the dust, purchased the Brauntex and reopened it as a performing arts theatre.  Extensive renovations followed.  The Brauntex now serves over 14,000 patrons yearly.   For information on upcoming shows, visit brauntex.org.  

  4. The New Braunfels region is also home to the largest commercial caverns in the state of Texas.  Natural Bridge Caverns, an extensive cave system reaching more than 200 ft below the surface, was discovered in 1960 by a quartet of university students.  Starting from a 60 ft natural limestone bridge and natural sinkhole, the caverns expand into a wide network of rooms, lakes, and passages.  Subsequent explorations led to the discovery of prehistoric artifacts and ancient debris.  As one of the world’s premiere show caverns, much of Natural Bridge Caverns is open for guided public tours.  The deeper portions of the caverns are still being explored and investigated today.  To learn more, take a look at naturalbridgecaverns.com.  

  5. Located atop the hill where Prince Solms first decided to settle the region that would become New Braunfels, the Sophienburg Museum & Archives is the sociohistorical center of the town.  In celebration of summer, the museum is currently showing, “Jump In!,” an exhibit based around early 20th century summer bathing habits.  Showcasing three different families enjoying their time at the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers, the exhibit provides a link between modern river vacations and those of a century ago.  “Jump In!” runs until September 6.  For more exhibits, times, and prices, visit sophienburg.com.  


For New Braunfels real estate both historic and contemporary, give the D. Lee Edwards Realty team a call at 830-620-7653!