Whether you’ve lived, visited, or merely passed through New Braunfels, you’ve probably noticed the colorful displays of public art lining the downtown area. But do you know the story behind them? More than just lively additions to the area’s aesthetic, these murals trace the vibrant history of New Braunfels and invite residents and visitors to revisit the colorful stories and people who have shaped the town’s culture.
Because while the New Braunfels legacy can be seen clearly in everything from Wurstfest to old-world architecture, several local artists have taken things a step further. Thanks to them, the New Braunfels Historic Outdoor Art Museum boasts a beautiful series of 6 historic building murals, making up a beloved display of public art. Besides building a valuable sense of community, this artwork has added to the local aesthetic, making our downtown even more welcoming and walkable!
So whether you want to wow your friends with your New Braunfels expertise, gain a deeper understanding of this town’s rich heritage, or merely admire some museum-quality art, we highly suggest taking a stroll around these four beautified blocks. Below is a small map of the area, along with information to enrich the visual narrative. So bring your phone (or print out a pdf), grab some family and friends, and head out on a tour of New Braunfels’ colorful past!
1. City of a Prince
The first mural in the series, entitled “City of a Prince”, honors the 1845 founding of New Braunfels by a group of noblemen called “Adelsverein”. New Braunfels was the first Texas colony of German immigrants, officially established by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Germany...hence why the new town was appropriately titled, “New Braunfels”. The rich blues and striking images of this mural (dedicated in 1999) were painted by Texas Senate honored muralist and historian Clinton Baermann.
Location: West San Antonio Street and Castell Avenue (Labeled "E" on map)
2. Hermann Seele - The Soul of New Braunfels
The second mural, “The Soul of New Braunfels” portrays the life of Hermann Seele in five tiled panels. As one of the first New Braunfels settlers and the resident “jack of all trades”, Seele led a truly extraordinary life. Besides serving as the first local school teacher, Hermann Seele helped organize the first protestant church, the newspaper "Zeitung", and several social and cultural clubs. He was first district clerk for Comal County, and served as a state legislator, Justice of the Peace, Mayor, and Postmaster, among other roles! A farmer, lawyer, and supporter of public education, Seele also left behind detailed written accounts of pioneer life in New Braunfels
These six striking paintings were first created by Brent McCarthy, scanned and enlarged by Dan Tharp, then transferred onto the large tile wall you now can see next to McAdoo’s Seafood Co. As one of the newer murals in the series, this mural was dedicated in October of 2012.
Location: 144 N. Castell Ave (Labeled "D" on map)
3. Lindheimer - Father of Texas Botany
The next mural in the series honors Jacob Lindheimer, widely regarded as the “Father of Texas Botany”. A German native, Lindheimer traveled to New Braunfels due to his friendship with Prince Carl. Over a period of just 13 years, Lindheimer collected 1500 species in the south Texas area! The mural, dedicated in 2001, was painted by San Antonio mural artist Alex Brochon to celebrate Lindheimer’s botanical achievements (as well as his 200th birthday!). Quick tip: after you stop by the mural at 129 Seguin Ave, pop by Naegelin’s Bakery (the oldest bakery in Texas!) for one of their famous pastries!
Location: 129 S. Seguin Ave (labeled "C" on map)
4. Lure of the Springs
The next mural, which appropriately overlooks the pristine waters of the Comal River, is entitled, “Lure of the Springs”. This mural captures the history and sparkling beauty of the Comal springs and river...from prehistoric times to the development of Landa Industries! Full of striking blues and greens, this piece of public art captures the ever-changing and forever-beautiful nature of our beloved waters. Also painted by Clinton Baermann, this mural was dedicated in 2004 and is located on the Parks and Recreation building at the entrance of Landa Park.
Location: 110 Golf Course Dr (labeled "B" on map)
5. Spass und Gemütlichkeit
Would an artistic rendering of New Braunfels history be complete without an ode to the local foodie culture? Obviously not! The “Spass und Gemuetlichkeit” mural celebrates local gem Krause’s Cafe, which has served as a gathering place for locals over the past 60+ years. Here, food, fun, and festivity converge in the form of sausage, bread, beer, wine, and friendship. Local artist Brent McCarthy is responsible for this extensive work, which was dedicated in April of 2007 and is located next to the “City of a Prince” mural.
Location: 148 S. Castell Ave (Labeled "F" on the map)
6. Fenster Inst Wurstfest
“Fenster inst Wurstfest” (translated “Windows into Wurstfest”) is a mural that pays tribute to the 10-day celebration of sausage we all know and love! Considered “the ultimate salute to sausage, beer, and music”, Wurstfest has become an integral part of our town’s German-Texan culture. The original “Wurst Week”, which began in 1963, started as a small gathering and has grown into a flagship festival, welcoming in thousands of attendees every year! (You can read more about Wurstfest’s history here.) Also painted by local artist Brent McCarthy, the “Fenster Inst Wurstfest” mural is located on Elizabeth Avenue, one of Wurstfest’s designated entrances. The painting was dedicated on October 18, 2010, during the festival's 50th birthday!
Location: 124 Elizabeth Ave (labeled "A" on map)
Bonus: Prince Carl Bronze Statue
Born on July 27 of 1812, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels held the titles of prince, military officer, and Commissioner General of the Adelsverein (translated “Nobility Society”). Prince Carl arrived on Texas soil on July 1, 1844, quickly purchasing over a thousand acres on the Guadalupe River, where he established the colony of New Braunfels. This life-sized bronze statue was created by local artist Paul Tadlock and dedicated on Prince Carl’s 200th birthday on July 27, 2012. The stately figure currently stands guard in front of the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center.
Location: 390 South Seguin Avenue (Labeled "G" on map)
Besides beautifying the downtown area and bringing historical awareness to the forefront of New Braunfels, these murals speak to a deeper piece of the town’s culture: an emphasis on the community. Both in form and function, these six murals wordlessly proclaim, “We are New Braunfels! We are proud of our town, our residents, and our culture!” In this way, the Outdoor Museum is more than just a collection of murals: together, they make up our story, woven together with paint and stone…making it that much easier to fall in love with the wonderful town of New Braunfels.
The New Braunfels Historic Outdoor Art Museum was founded in 1996 to enhance New Braunfels’ historic district while teaching and celebrating local history and heritage through art for local and visitor alike. As a nonprofit organization, the Museum’s mission is to instill the belief that historic outdoor public art can “unite business and art to revitalize and generate economic diversification of the Historic Downtown District.”