Immigrants, mostly German, Austrian and Czech, came to Texas in the late 1800's through the early 1900's, not through Ellis Island as we might suppose, rather, they arrived in Galveston, Texas, which began to be called the "Ellis Island of the West" due the large number of immigrants arriving in the port. From there many traveled north in Texas and established ethnic communities, many of which were predominantly Catholic.
In central Texas you will find a collection of churches reminiscent of the European countries from which their builders came. From the outside they look like typical small-town churches, but once inside you will see the frescoes and paintings by the immigrants that built them.
Most of these churches are a short distance apart in the general area of the town of Schulenburg, while a couple of others are in the "Hill Country" near Austin. The churches are active parishes, which means if you time it right you can probably attend Mass. We suggest you call ahead to be sure.
The town of Schulenberg suggests the following on their "painted churches tour" itinerary:
There are a couple of other painted churches not too far away in what is known as the Texas Hill Country:
We did not make it to the Shiner and Plantersville churches, but enjoyed the four near Schulenburg in an easy afternoon drive. Be sure to check out the photos of these beautiful churches.