The Sophienburg Museum and Archives are located in New Braunfels, Texas. It is built on the historical site where Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Germany, established the headquarters in 1985 for a colony that he wanted to start in the Republic of Texas. Prince Carl chose this location next to the Comal River due to the abundance of vegetation, water and good omen that he associated with the river. He and his team of pioneers then founded the city of New Braunfels, named after his hometown, Braunfels, in Germany.
Prince Carl built a castle on a hill overlooking the new town and named it Sophienburg, meaning Sophie’s Castle, in honour of his fiancée Lady Sophia the Princess of Salm-Salm. However, when Prince Carl went back to Germany to bring Lady Sophia to the new home, she refused to leave. Prince Carl chose to marry Sophia, stayed in Germany and never returned to Texas. The castle was left under the care of the Adelsverein, otherwise called the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas.
When the Adelsverein went bankrupt in 1847, the castle was left unused until a group of citizens bought the site. The state of Texas incorporated the group as a memorial association in 1933. From then, the association filled the small museum with artefacts and also made it a library for New Braunfels. The library was later converted into archives after a new library was built by the city.
About The Sophienburg Museum and Archives
The museum is well-stocked with documents, maps, interesting photographic images and artefacts that take visitors through the rich heritage of Comal County and New Braunfels. The museum also runs other educative programs like community events, programs for schools and public lectures that play a big role in promoting the captivating history of the area.
The archives provide a spectacular repository of information about the activities of German immigrants into Texas. A broad collection including categories such as letters and papers, maps, newspapers, photographs, rare books and a research library can be found in the archives.
The Sophienburg Museum and Archives are open 5 days every week, Tuesday through to Saturday. It is well accessible by the handicapped and on a wheelchair. You can also take a few photographs in designated exhibit areas.
Take a tour today!