A good friend of New Braunfels has won Germany’s highest cultural recognition in part for building a relationship between the town of Braunfels, Germany and New Braunfels, Texas. As a result, Gerhard Adam has received the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Adam claims there is no part of Germany with stronger ties to the U.S. than the village of Braunfels. “It is the oldest connection between an American town or city and Germany,” said Adam.
Photo: Flickr/Juan Valdivieso Vicuna
The 170+ year connection between the two towns all began with a German Prince who affectionately became known as “Texas Charlie.” Prince Carl, as was his real name, took on an expedition to Texas and established the town of New Braunfels as an homage to his motherland.
Inside Prince Carl’s old castle, there is a designated area celebrating the connection to New Braunfels, including momentos, medallions and a map of New Braunfels. It seems Texas Charlie’s love for the Lone Star State has endured long after his death.
Adam, a long time resident of Braunfels, Germany, has traveled to Texas more than 20 times in the course of his studies. During his travels, much like Prince Carl, Adam has sought to maintain the relationship between his home across the pond and the old Texas settlement of New Braunfels.
Adam contends that the residents of Braunfels, Germany are endeared by the homage New Braunfels has continued to pay. Some examples of enduring tributes Adam states are that the Deutsch language was preserved in Texas and for many years after Prince Carl left, a Deutsch language paper was printed and the construction of the original parts of Schlitterbahn waterpark were modeled after Prince Carl’s castle in Germany.