Thursday, November 19, 2009
Painted Churches in Texas
As I look back on my life, one thing that I remember from my twelve years in Texas is visiting the Painted Churches. We took almost every visitor we had to see these gorgeous little churches, west of the Houston area. I don't know how many times we visited this area -but it was SEVERAL times.
Research says that there are about 20 of these little churches--but we only visited about 5-6 of them near Schulenburg in Fayette County in the Texas Hill Country (Dubina, High Hill, Ammonsville, Praha, etc.). These little churches --dotted on the country hillsides--- were built by 19th century immigrants, mostly German and Czech. We found it breath-taking as we drove on the little country roads, especially when we would go around a curve or up a hill and see those gorgeous churches with their steeples standing tall throughout the little communities.
These churches were called the "Painted" Churches because when you entered the sanctuary---you would see all kinds of bright paintings, exuberant murals, and TONS of color all around. The wooden columns and baseboards would shine like polished marble in shades of green and gray. The stained-glass windows were incredible. Each of the churches told a story---a story about a people striving to succeed in a new country and yet still preserving the values and culture of their homelands.
If you ever get to Texas, be sure and check out the Painted Churches. They are truly awesome.. The picture above was typical of all of them---showing the color and elaborate designs. The picture above was from St. Mary's Catholic Church in High Hill. This church was built in 1906 and painted in 1912. Below are a few more.
I show you this one so that you'll see just how 'ordinary' these little churches look like from the outside. BUT--when you go inside, WELL----all you can say is "WOW".
The inside of one of the churches
The inside of another one of the Painted Churches
One of the gorgeous stained-glass windows
Here's a close-up of the ceiling area in one of the churches. When they say "Painted"---they really mean PAINTED all over!
Here's one more close-up picture of one of the churches.
You just have to see these churches to believe their beauty. I have many more pictures--which need to be scanned. SO---I'll post more at another time.