Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fredericksburg, Texas

We just had a great past two days touring Fredericksburg and the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch. It was topped off last night here in New Braunfels where we attended a magnificent concert by the Mid-Texas Symphony. The concert had a guest violinist Charles Yang who played Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. We drove to Fredericksburg on Friday. This again is the beautiful hill country, and in this area are many peach orchards and wineries. We met some friends in Fredericksburg whom we had known from back in St.Louis, Jim and Diane Mayer. After meeting for lunch at the Bavarian Inn (great German food there)  we toured their church Zion Lutheran.  Zion was one of the first churches in town, the congregation was formed in the 1850s. Originally, as in New Braunfels, the town had only one church for Protestants, called the Society Church or Vereins Kirche. A replica of the church is pictured below.
The Pioneer Museum was our next stop in Fredericksburgh. Here we saw original pioneer homes complete with furnishings of the 1800s. The variety and quantity of artifacts is quite impressive.The German immigrants brought very little in the way of tools with them from the old country. What they did not have they made, so they could  build sturdy homes, furniture, kitchen and farm utensils. They used an old world technology, called "fachwerk" to construct the interior of their homes. It is a type of construction using wall plaster over woven twigs, as seen in the picture below.
Many of the original homes and churches which we have seen, both in the museum and around town, have limestone exteriors, as seen in the home pictured below, circa 1878.
By mid-afternoon the sun was out and shoppers thronged Main street, a shopping mecca for many tourists which stretches out over 3.5 miles. The shops are famous for their German-made products and, scattered between the shops, are breweries and wineries. I was taken aback when a young chap from Australia, carrying a backpack, questioned us as to where he might find a beer! The charm of it all are the original buildings which still can be found on Main Street. Pictured below is what use to be the Preiss /Keidel Memorial Hospital.   It once was a general merchandise and hardware store with living quarters upstairs. In 1938 it was converted into a hospital. That is typical German thrift and ingenuity which we seemed to have found a lot of in Fredericksburg.

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