Historic Walking Tour
One of the most popular things to see and do in Castroville is to take the Historic Walking Tour which features over 50 homes and commercial structures originally built in the mid to late 1800s.
You will notice that the buildings on the Walking Tour are identified with a distinctive marker - a silhouette of a typical house bearing the name and the date of construction. You will also find them elsewhere, as the Chamber of Commerce has presented them to all homeowners who have researched the records to verify the necessary information. Look for them as you move about the city and surrounding countryside. History is everywhere!
The Historic Walking tour can be found in the Walking Tour Brochure.
Blue Landmark Inn Walking Tour
1. Inn Historic Site - Start your tour at Landmark Inn where you can learn about the history of the area. Perched along the Medina River, Landmark Inn was a key stop for those heading west from San Antonio.
2. Joseph Burrell House - This house represents a double-dwelling place and was constructed in 1845 by Joseph Burrell, a native of Altorf, Alsace, who arrived on the Castro ship, Jeanette Marie. The structure is considered one of the oldest in Castroville.
3.Valentine Vollmer House - Deeded to Louis Huth by Henri Castro, this limestone home was purchased for $200 by the Vollmer family in 1870. Vollmer came to Castroville from Eppstein, Pfalz, Bavaria, Germany.
4. Burger Hüs - Considered to be the oldest home in Castroville, the home was built in 1844. The original ceiling was cheese cloth and the floors were made of cypress wood. You can still see the original flooring in the back section of the home.
5. A. H. Tondre Hüs - Purchased from Sears, Roebuck & Company by Adolph H. Tondre in 1911, this house was shipped by rail to La Coste and hauled to Castroville by horse and wagon. The house is very close to its original condition.
6. Joe Bendele Log Cabin - This is the only log cabin structure that remains in Castroville from the early pioneer period. Built from 1847-1849, the home is constructed of oak logs and may have been used for servants quarters.
7. Nicholas Tondre Hüs - An example of French-Norman architecture, the house had two rooms flanked by a hallways and steep staircase that led to a loft. The S-shaped iron rods hold the walls together. The walls are 16" to 18" and extend nearly three feet under the ground.
8. Huth/Jungman Hüs - The home has non-vertical flues that were common in early homes. When you look at the end of this house, you can see windows directly below chimneys. The flues were run in the walls from the living room and bedroom.
9. John Vollmer Hüs - The stone walls of this home are 20" to 24" thick with a floor constructed of local cypress. The home was built in 1863 with a dining room added in 1900.
10. Zimmerly House - The walls of Zimmerly House are 18" limestone that were then covered with stucco and orginally, painted white. The original 12' ceiling and floors are all still in the home. The original construction took place in 1855.
Red September Square Walking Trail
1. September Square - September Square honors the founders of Castroville. In 1994, a State Historical Marker was placed in honor of Henri Castro. Two monuments honor veterans of World War 1 and World War 2.
2. Brauer Hüs - Built in the 1850s, it was built of limestone and cypress beams. The property includes another small house that was living quarters, smokehouse, and rock-lined well.
3. Knobloch Hüs - August Knobloch was the city tinsmith and operated his shop out of this address. Knobloch expanded the house by adding two rooms made of limestone blocks.
4. Cordier-Tschirhart Hüs - The Cordier-Tschirhart home was built of native rock between 1844 and 1847. It often took several years to construct a home because of farming and other work needed to survive.
5. Monier Hüs - Built in 1847, this was the home to the Monier family. With 11 children, they needed plenty of space and acquired the lot from Henri Castro in 1847.
6. Biry-Ahr Property - This home houses the Castro Colonies Living History Center. Step into the home and experience how those early settlers lived. Set up a tour at 210-854-9794 to truly experience this home.
7. The Tarde Hotel - Built as a hotel in 1852, the inn was recognized for its fine French food and hospitality. Considered to be one of the finest of its time; many historic figures stayed in this charming place.
8. Kieser/Pingenot Hüs - This combination Alsatian/Victorian architecture is the only one in Castroville. The original home was built in 1850 with the Victorian style added in 1905.
9. Carle Hüs and Store - Built around 1865, this structure started as a single room with a cellar. It was eventually turned into a general store with living space upstairs.
10. St. Louis Catholic Church - One of the largest Catholic churches in Texas when constructed, it was built from 1868-1870 of limestone and cypress. Stain glass was added in 1908 along with a taller spire.
11. Jungman Hüs and Store - Built in 1867, Peter Jungman added the business to the east of the house with stones he purchased that were originally a part of the first courthouse building in Medina County.
12. Claude Dubois Hüs - Father Claude Dubois was the first Priest in Castro Colonies. He was captured twice by Comanches and later became the Bishop of Texas. Before all that took place, Dubois replaced a picket hut with this structure.
13. First Stone St. Louis Church - This was the first stone Catholic Church built in Medina County and west of San Antonio in the Republic of Texas. Construction began just nine days after the settlers arrived in 1844.
14. Joseph Courand Hüs - The family constructed the home in the 1850s, taking several years because they also worked and farmed. The original family operated a general store next door.
15. Dan's Meat Market - The original meat market was built in 1925 with the saloon added later. The corner originally the Castroville Anvil and a tin shop. In recent years it has been converted into an award-winning barbeque establishment.
16. Hans Meat Market - This property also house the Dolch House, well house, smokehouse, and barn. Today the property houses several businesses. You will find Firebrand Pottery as well as All Local.
17. The Old Standby - One of only a few two story buildings in Castroville, the building began as a saloon in 1857. It had its share of gun battles and during prohibition, became a soda fountain and drug store.
18. Keiffer/Wernette Tondre Store - Originally the Keifer Brewery & Saloon, the second floor was added and had a balcony and dance hall. In later years it was turned into a grocery, lumber, and dry goods store. The balcony was added back in 2023.
19. Henri Castro Homestead - The empresario and founder of Castro's Colony. Castro chose this lot when laying out the blocks in his namesake. The earliest home designs were 16x32 feet with an 8-foot-wide rear addition which could contain the kitchen.
20. Old Highway Filling Station - Originally constructed as a saloon, the Highway Filling station was also the Painter Bus Station and a liquor store. It became a gas station in 1920 as the automobile replaced the horse. Today you can get a great cup of coffee and breakfast treat.
Gold Additional Historic Places
1. Steinbach Hüs
2. Jean Merian Hüs
3. Joseph Cournard, Jr. Hüs
4. Dominic Schott Hüs
5. Edward E. Tschirhart Hüs