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Texas Hill Country Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Austin: Downtown German Heritage


Saengerfest, Austin, 1889
Saengerfest, Austin, 1889

By the late 1800s, German-Texans played an important role in the formation and growth of Austin and shared their old-country traditions, foods, and songs with the wider population.

“Many highly educated men, who had first adopted the strenuous life of the pioneer farmer when they came to Texas… gradually left their farms for the more congenial life and employment in the city,” wrote historian Moritz Tiling, “and the Germans of Austin have forever been a prominent social, political and industrial factor of the capital of Texas.”

Download an 19-point walking tour that showcases sites downtown that tell the German-Texan story in Austin: from Bertram’s Store on Guadalupe to the old German Free School to the beautiful mansions of various businessmen and politicians.

GERMAN SITES IN CENTRAL AUSTIN

Click each site name below for a history and photo of the building.

  1. Turner Hall (now Scottish Rite Temple), 201 W. 18th St.
  2. Bertram Store (now Clay Pit restaurant), 1602 Guadalupe St.
  3. Wahrenberger House, 208 W. 14th St.
  4. Goodman Building, 202 W. 13th St.
  5. Mauthe-Myrick Mansion (now Texas Cotton Ginners’ Association headquarters), 408 W. 14th St.
  6. Fischer House, 1008 West Ave.
  7. Texas Military Institute (now Castle Hill Partners, located above the Austin Graffiti Park), 1111 W. 11th St.
  8. Henry H. and Bertha Sterzing Ziller House, 1110 Blanco St.
  9. Henry Hirshfeld House and Cottage, 303 W. 9th St.
  10. Walter Tips Building, 710 Congress Ave.
  11. Kreisle Building (now Speakeasy), 412 Congress Ave.
  12. J.P. Schneider Store (now Lamberts Downtown Barbecue), 401 W. 2nd St.
  13. F. Weigl Iron Works (now Iron Works BBQ), 100 Red River St.
  14. Hofheintz-Reissig Store (now Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill), 303 Red River St.
  15. Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig House, 411 E. 5th St.
  16. Hannig Building, 206 E. 6th St.
  17. German Free School (now German-Texan Heritage Society headquarters), 507 E. 10th St.
  18. Old General Land Office Building (now Texas Capitol Visitors Center, Capitol grounds), 112 E. 11th St.
  19. Scholz Garten, 1607 San Jacinto Blvd.
     

​There are many more German heritage sites in and around Austin, some of which are listed here. Learn more about German immigration in Texas in this short history.

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Location

  • 1304 Colorado
  • Austin, Texas
  • 78701

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