Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Painted Churches

In uploading my pictures, I also found these from when Jeremy and I went to visit the German/Czech painted churches that lie between Houston and San Antonio. Built in the late 1800s, these Catholic churches stand oddly alone in tiny towns, representing the small European villages from whence their makers came. The insides are intricately designed with trompe d'oeil designs, floral patterns, and sentimental Virgins and Jesuses.

Many central Europeans immigrated to Texas in the 1850s after the 1848 revolutions collapsed into conservative regimes, and they found themselves out of place in this slave state that had just joined the United States. They were Unionists as the Civil War approached, voting to remain in the United States while most of Texas voted to secede. It's their accordions and polka beats you hear in Tejano music - the Catholic Tejanos and the Catholic Europeans (and Cajuns from Louisiana) stuck together.

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