Today I'll share with you a very short and sweet road trip I did with my friends to the outskirts of Houston.
This time we went to Schulenburg, Texas to visit the hand-painted churches in this area. This little town is located one hour and a half west of Houston on the way to San Antonio, in Fayette County.
The first church we visited was St. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church. This church is still the center of a very small community called, Dubina and was the first Czech immigrant settlement in 1910. The interior of the church was beautifully hand-painted, so the work is really impressive.
Location: 4148 FM 1383 Schulenburg, Texas
Down a dirt road, half a mile away from the church, we found the famous Piano Bridge. This historic bridge was built in 1885 and it’s one of the few iron bridges in the U.S. so it's really worth the visit.
From there, we took the road north to Ammannville, Texas to visit the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. This town was named after Andrew Amman, the first German settler in this area. This church was built in 1890 and to this day it still remains as an important part of this community. Its interior was also hand-painted under the same European influence of the churches in this area.
Location: 7850 Mensik Road, La Grange Texas 78945
The third place we visited is not part of the traditional "Painted Churches Tour", but I really wanted to see the Grotto of Hostyn, Texas. This grotto is a replica of the Virgin Lourdes Grotto in France and was built by the community of Hostyn in 1925. Besides the grotto, there's a very beautiful cemetery with a view of the Colorado River Valley, where hundreds of families from the Czech Republic rest.
Location: 936 FM 2436 La Grange, Texas 78945
After this tour, of course, we were starving so we stopped for lunch at The Garden and Co. Café at the historic town of Schulenburg, TX.
The restaurant is decorated with a vintage farm style similar to what Joanna Gaines does in her Fixer Upper TV Show. They offer sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and burgers but with a really delicious combination of high-end ingredients.
We ordered the beet salad that was served with goat cheese, grapefruit, and candied walnuts. The BLT on a brioche with hardwood bacon and garlic aioli was spectacular. We also had the Anjou pears pizza with pancetta, Brie, and Mozzarella, as well as the Fungi Burger, also with Brie, Fontina, caramelized onions, Shiitake and Portobello mushrooms, black truffles and a white truffle aioli. Everything was absolutely delicious.
In the back of the restaurant, they had a beautiful nursery and decor store that's worth a stroll. I wish we could've stayed a little bit longer, but we'll have to go back soon!
And for our road trip's grand finale, before going back to Houston, we stopped to see, in my opinion, the most beautiful church of all the ones we saw, St Mary's High Hill.
Located in High Hill, TX, this church was also constructed approximately 150 years ago and its walls and ceiling were also hand-painted. The church is surrounded by colorful stained-glass windows that make it a really special place.
So now you know, if you're looking for a fun, original and quick escape to the outskirts of Houston, the Painted Churches Tour in Schulenburg, Texas is a wonderful option.
At the Schulenburg, Texas website you'll find more information and they can also send you a map to your home.
Thanks so much to my wonderful group of friends for another adventure full of laughter, driving around our dear state of Texas!
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