I heard about the "painted churches" that are located about half-way between Houston and San Antonio. I researched the topic, studied google maps, and planned a day trip to photograph the four churches that are close to Schulenburg. I was visiting family in Houston, so I planned to spend one day touring the area and making my photographs of the churches. There are more painted churches of Texas, but my focus was on the four that are close enough for me to take a day trip.
Around the turn of the century (1900) German and Czech settlers in this area built their churches in the small communities that are surrounded by farm land and cattle. They imported carved statues from Europe and spent long hours painting their churches. They didn't have precious metals....but they did have paint.
A short drive north and east of Schulenburg I found Ammannsville. It is the home of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. The church was originally built in 1909 and the current church is the third to be built on this site.
(Note - please take the opportunity to click on the photograph for a full screen view.)
Facing towards the vestibule from the altar. Notice the framed, carved Stations of the Cross on the walls.
The details of the altar are amazing and stunningly beautiful.
I left this church and drove a few miles down the highway to Dubina. The second church on my tour is Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church. Normally there is a locked gate so that visitors can look through the gate to see the church. However, I was lucky and stumbled on a open gate with a very small tour inside. I seized the opportunity to make some of my photographs.
The walls are lined with the 14 Stations of the Cross with Czech words inscribed.
My view from the choir loft. Notice the Stations of the Cross on the walls.
View as you kneel......in black and white.
I took a little more time to sit in this church and take in the beauty. When I decided to leave, I drove west for about 10 miles to High Hill, Texas and the location of the third church on my tour - St. Mary's Catholic Church. This church is nicknamed "queen" for the crowned jewel of the churches in this area. This brick church was built in 1906.
Standing in the back of the church I tried to frame as much of the scene as I could fit in this photograph.
View as you kneel. I was awe struck!
For my 4th and final church of the day I headed south towards I-10, and continued south to highway 90. A turn to the west and a few more miles down the road I found Praha (Prague) and the location of St. Mary's Church of Assumption. This church was built in 1895. I did not get a picture of the stone building. As I walked up the sidewalk I was not expecting this.......WOW!
I was alone inside and just stood there for a few minutes before I made my first photograph. Yes.....my mouth had dropped open! Again....notice the carved Stations of the Cross on the walls.
Finally....view as you kneel.
I enjoyed my self-guided tour of the four painted churches. I know beauty when I see it and I tried to capture the stunning beauty of these churches in my photographs.