House Concurrent Resolution

79R8071 MAM-D

BY: Cook of Colorado                                                                                  H.C.R. NO. 93


            Whereas, in the mid-19th century, Czech and German settlers arrived in Central Texas looking for new lives of economic opportunity and religious freedom; these hardworking immigrants developed small communities in Fayette County and constructed churches to comfort their spirits and sustain their faith; and

            Whereas, Today four of these churches dot the landscape of Ammannsville, Dubina, High Hill, and Praha, small communities near Schulenburg; these four churches are monuments to the strength and perseverance of our state’s early settlers, but they also provide a rich aesthetic history of Texas; though the architecture is typically Gothic Revival in style, the interior of these spaces includes rare decorative painting techniques and nearly every wall is covered with bright, densely rendered murals; and

            Whereas, Schulenburg serves as the destination of choice for those who want to experience the beauty of the churches firsthand as the Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce offers tours of the Painted Churches, which let visitors marvel at the visual splendor of this charming part of Texas history; and

            Whereas, in Ammannsville, St. John the Baptist Churches features a distinctive interior of soft colors and a vaulted ceiling decorated with ornamental paintings of cherubs, palm ferns, and lily blossoms; in Dubina, Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church includes the masterful strokes of a 19-th century painter’s original frescoes, which were restored in the 1980s; and               

           Whereas, the wild prairie land of High Hill is home to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which features 18 stained glass windows imported from Germany in the late 1800s; the rich reds and blues from the windows complement a dark, hand-carved alter and the hues of the statues of religious figures and saints; the final site, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Praha, contains wood from Germany’s Black Forest, and it also features the work of Swiss artist Gottfried Flurry, who painted the ceiling with religious imagery and flowers and vines representing local flora; and

            Whereas, nestled in the gentle rolling hills of Fayette County, the Painted Churches of Texas are an irreplaceable part of our state’s cultural heritage; for the region’s early settlers, the churches represented hope and freedom, while today, they are monuments to a glorious past; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the 79th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designates Schulenburg the Official Home of the Painted Churches of Texas.