Fredericksburg’s rich history, which stretches back over 175 years to its founding on May 8, 1846, by 120 German immigrants, is most evident today in the 700 historically significant structures located in the town’s nationally recognized historic district.
Recently recognized by Southern Living as one of the South's Best Walking Tours, the self-paced adventure features historic buildings that today are museums, restaurants, shops, lodging options and churches.
As you tour, you will notice that the streets are wide in Fredericksburg – it is said that the town’s founders wanted a full team of oxen to be able to turn around in the street. Meanwhile, Main Street’s curbs still feature metal loops that offer a place to tie up horses.
Note: The historical buildings featured in this walking tour range from private homes to paid-entry museum sites to public retail locations, please be respectful of private property when touring town. As you explore on foot, please use caution and only cross a street at designated crosswalks.
the historic walking tour includes
Charles Henry Nimitz Sr. purchased the above property in 1855 and five years later, the Nimitz Hotel was hosting stagecoach travelers and became a center for community events. The steamboat facade was added in the 1870s when the hotel expanded. Today, the space houses the Admiral Nimitz Gallery of the National Museum of the Pacific War, honoring Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, who was born in Fredericksburg.
restaurants & shops
The Priess Building/Keidel Memorial Hospital (pictured above) was constructed by Charles F. Priess in 1883 using limestone from a quarry off of Bear Mountain Road. The building started as a general merchandise and hardware store on the main level with living quarters above. In 1938, the building was expanded and converted into a hospital by Dr. Victor Keidel. Today, the building holds Rathskeller on the bottom level and Der Kuchen Laden on the main level.
lodging & churches
Another one of the town’s most unique historical features are Sunday Houses, which date back to the town’s founding. Immigrants received a town lot and a 10-acre plot of land in the countryside for farming. Many settlers built small, simple houses on that town lot while maintaining more permanent homes on their farmland. These Sunday Houses were specifically for the purpose of having a place to conduct Saturday business in town, socialize and attend church.