History

Touring the Painted Churches of Texas: Architecture, Art, and a Sampling of History

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Many people have a passion for architecture and history and often dream of one day traveling to Europe for the opportunity to marvel at some of their wondrous buildings, public sites, and churches. While you might not think of the Lone Star State in the same way, it certainly isn’t lacking in history – nor in its share of beautifully designed and decorated buildings of yesteryear!

Austin is just a short day-trip from many of these historical sites, such as the beautiful castles we’re home to. A lesser known yet just as amazing day-trip tour is that of the painted churches in the area. Perfect for those that are interested in architecture, art, and Texas history, here are three that are sure to please.

1. St. Mary’s Church, Praha

Touring the Painted Churches of Texas: Architecture, Art, and a Sampling of History

Photo: Facebook/Ashley Love’s Basement

Located at 821 FM 1295, St Mary’s Church in Praha is one of the oldest painted churches of the area. Constructed in 1895, its façade of plain stone belies its ornate interior, which was designed in the Gothic Revival style. Adorned with drawings, paintings, or stenciling, almost every inch of the church’s interior is decorated elaborately. Its walls and ceiling were painted by Gottfried Flurry, fresco artist, and wonderfully complements its impressive white altar, which is hand-carved.

2. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Ammannsville

Touring the Painted Churches of Texas: Architecture, Art, and a Sampling of History

Photo: Flickr/Jerry and Pat Donaho

Located at 7745 Mensik Road, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church has been nicknamed the “Pink Church”, and was constructed in 1917. Also built in the Gothic Revival style (similar to St. Mary’s above), this is the third church to be built on this site–the first two having been destroyed by a hurricane and fire, respectively. Much simpler than the first two, this structure was decorated by a painter who was hired to give it a liveliness as opposed to constructing embellishments and building decorative columns.

3. St. Mary’s Catholic Church, High Hill

Touring the Painted Churches of Texas: Architecture, Art, and a Sampling of History
Photo: Flickr/Jerry and Pat Donaho

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