Visit Fredericksburg, Texas

FAQs

Where are public restrooms located?
Public restrooms are available at the Visitor Information Center at 302 E. Austin Street, at the Marktplatz (town square) on the 100 block of Main Street and Adams Street, and at the Visitor Center inside the Pioneer Museum at 325 West Main Street.

Where can I park?
Parking is available at no charge in Fredericksburg on the street and in the large lot behind the Visitor Information Center at 302 East Austin Street.  On weekends and holidays, additional parking is also available behind the courthouse.

What are the current population figures for Fredericksburg and Gillespie County?
Population figures as of the 2010 United States Census show:
Fredericksburg – 10,530
Gillespie County – 24,837

In which year was Fredericksburg founded?
The city of Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 by 120 German immigrants who traveled to Texas from Germany to secure land purchased through the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, known as Mainser Adelsverein.  Each settler was promised a plot of land in town and 10 acres in the vicinity of the settlement in exchange for settlement in the vast wilderness that was Texas.

From where in Germany did the early settlers come from?
Fredericksburg’s ancestors came from different kingdoms of Germany.  The first groups bound for Fredericksburg left Germany in 1845 with the first wave arriving in Texas in 1846 and groups continued arriving until the mid 1850s.  Some of the 19 kingdoms from which the settlers came include:  Saxony, Nassau, Hannover, Westphalia, Thüringen, Nederlands, Prussia, and the Rhineland.

Is German still spoken in Fredericksburg today?
With the city’s founding fathers from Germany, German was predominately spoken in Fredericksburg until the 1940s, although today English is the main language.  A version of the early German language is still spoken today in some households in Fredericksburg; however, that language is peppered with English words as many later generation words, like microwave and car, for example, didn’t exist when the first settlers traveled to Texas.

Who is considered to be the founding father of Fredericksburg and for what is he most famous?
Founding father Baron Otfried Hans von Meusebach, who later changed his name to John O. Meusebach, led the settlers to the Fredericksburg settlement.  He was known for originating a peace treaty with the Comanche Indians, early inhabitants to the land where Fredericksburg was settled.  This treaty is considered to be the only treaty with Native Americans in the United States that is still unbroken today.  The treaty was signed in March of 1847.

Why is Main Street so wide?
Main Street was designed to be wide enough to allow oxen carts to be turned around.

What significance are the street names?
Street signs leading west and east along Main Street/Hwy 290 (same road) spell out ALL WELCOME (Adams, Llano, Lincoln, Washington, Elk, Lee, Columbus, Olive, Mesquite, Eagle) and COME BACK (Crockett, Orange, Milam, Edison, Bowie, Acorn, Cherry, Kay).  City founding fathers were thinking ahead about hospitality – what Fredericksburg is known for!  Also – the Marktplatz, or town square, is the dividing line for East-end and West-end streets.

What is a Sunday House?
Sunday Houses are small, in-town houses that the early settlers used when they traveled from their farms outside Fredericksburg to town on weekends for supplies, fellowship, and Sunday church services.  Architecture frequently included a second story used as sleeping quarters, outside staircases, and lean-to kitchens at the rear of the structures.  Good examples of Sunday Houses in Fredericksburg can be found at the Pioneer Museum and on the 400 block of West San Antonio Street.

What is the Vereins Kirche that is located at the Marktplatz?
The Vereins Kirche (or VK as some locals call it) was built soon after the arrival of the first German settlers, and stands as a tribute to the courage and vision of Fredericksburg’s founders.  It was the first public building in the town, and served as a town hall, school, fort, and a church for all denominations.  This is also the original site of the Pioneer Museum.  The original building was demolished in 1896, but local citizens long dreamed of rebuilding it – a dream that came true in 1935 when a gala celebration was held to dedicate the new structure as a pioneer memorial.  Today, this much-loved symbol of our German heritage is centrally located in the Marktplatz.  Inside, exhibits introduce visitors to the stories of Fredericksburg’s past.

What is the significance of the Maibaum located at the Marktplatz?
The Maibaum (or Maypole) symbolizes the history of this community.  Erected in 1991, the decorative pole stands proudly with several tiers – each tier significant to this community, from the peace negotiations between the Comanche Indian tribes and the German pioneers (bottom level) to the importance of agriculture (specifically grapes, peaches and cattle) and the ships that carried the early settlers from Germany.  Each tier tells a story.

What are the predominate industries for the area?
Medical, tourism and agriculture

Why is the National Museum of the Pacific War located in Fredericksburg?
The National Museum of the Pacific War originated from the Nimitz Museum which was established in Fredericksburg in honor of the men and women who fought during WWII with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Fleet, and Fredericksburg native.  His grandparents owned the Nimitz Steamboat Hotel where Nimitz spent some of his childhood.  This iconic structure, with its boat-like exterior, exists today on Main Street.  Over time the hotel was converted to the Nimitz Museum where it is now a part of the 6.5-acre National Museum of the Pacific War complex that includes the recently updated (2009) George H. W. Bush Gallery.  The museum is operated by the Texas Historical Commission and the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, currently headed by General Michael W. Hagee, USMC (Ret), 33rd Commandant of the United States Marines.

How did Enchanted Rock get its name?
Enchanted Rock, with its distinctive pink granite, dates back almost one billion years and is considered to be formed from the outcrop of a volcano.  Early Native Americans who lived in this area considered this batholith, the nation’s second largest behind Stone Mountain in Georgia, to be haunted because it made mysterious crackling sounds.  Geologists have since theorized that the sound emanated from the granite swelling from the heat during the day, and retracting during the cool of the night.  Enchanted Rock is located 18 miles north of Fredericksburg on RR 965 (off Main Street onto Milam Street).

Where was Lyndon B. Johnson born?
Our nation’s 36th president, Lyndon B. Johnson, was born 16 miles east of Fredericksburg at the family ranch located outside Stonewall.  The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is open to the public for free.  A tour of the private home the president shared with Lady Bird and their daughters is available for $2.

How many area wineries are there?
The Texas Hill Country is emerging as a wine destination, with nearly two dozen wineries located in Fredericksburg in Gillespie County.

What are the viticultural areas in the Texas Hill Country?
According to the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Hill Country has three viticulture areas:  Bell Mountain, Fredericksburg and Hill Country.

What is Wine Road 290 Fredericksburg?
Wine Road 290 Fredericksburg is a self-guided wine trail featuring wineries/tasting rooms along U.S. Hwy 290.  These wineries periodically plan special events.  For more information and a list of wineries, visit www.wineroad290.com.

When is the Christmas Pyramid on display?
Custom built for the City of Fredericksburg, the 26’, 5-tiered rotating Christmas Pyramid is on display in the Marktplatz on Main Street during the Christmas holidays.  Along with the community Christmas tree, the pyramid is illuminated the Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

From where are the most frequent visitors to the Fredericksburg area?
Fredericksburg welcomes on average 60% of its visitors from Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin, and from cities around Texas and surrounding states.  Frequent international visitors travel from Canada, Mexico, Germany, England and Japan.

What is there to do for kids?
There are plenty of opportunities for the kiddos to enjoy while in the Fredericksburg area – from touring the Pioneer Museum, to experiencing life as a German pioneer at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site.  Other fun ideas include exploring the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, hiking the Live Oak Wilderness Trail at the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park on U.S. Hwy 16 S. (Adams St.), and seasonal pick-your-own fruit gathering from area orchards.

Are u-turns on Main Street allowed?
Police in Fredericksburg feel strongly about the No U-Turns ordinance along Main Street.  Please be safe.