Fredericksburg's 3 Must-See Churches and Cathedrals

The charming city of Fredericksburg has plenty of things to do. Fredericksburg, Texas is redolent with the aromas of fresh German bakes and the fragrance of wildflowers. BBonline recommends you visit the beautiful historic churches in the city.

St. Mary's Catholic Church
306 West San Antonio Street,
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

This is one of the famous painted churches of Texas, characterized by a plain exterior and beautifully painted interiors. In fact, no surface is left unpainted. St. Mary's Catholic Church was built between 1906 and 1908 in the Gothic style. It is worth visiting from your Fredericksburg Bed and Breakfast.

The main altar made of wood has a painting of "The Last Supper." The 12 apostles look down upon you from the arches over the central aisle. There are many other paintings, including a depiction of Christ the King, and the Righteous King and Priest Melchizedek making offerings to Abraham.

According to legend, the stone workers who built the church were visited by Christ disguised as a stranger.

San Fernando Cathedral
231 W Commerce Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205
(210) 223-6192

Erected in 1738 and located 50 miles from Fredericksburg, this is the oldest cathedral in the United States. Set against a backdrop of majestic hills, it is a popular venue for wedding ceremonies. The Cathedral Center adjacent to it is even equipped for wedding receptions. It offers bridal spa packages, horse and carriage rides and helps couples plan memorable weddings.

This is where the Texan hero James Bowie and Ursula de Veramendi were married. The cathedral served as a lookout for the Mexican General Santa Anna during the American-Mexican War.

In the rear of the cathedral, which dates back to the 1700s, there is a colonial chapel with three stunning paintings that evoke the Spanish colonial era. The central painting covered in 24-carat gold leaf is 25 feet high.

The Cathedral Center has a peaceful courtyard with a European-style sidewalk café which serves breakfast and lunch. There is also a museum outlining the history of Christianity in San Antonio, and a beautiful balcony reserved for special occasions.

The cathedral is the spiritual centre of San Antonio as well as a harmonious social venue, regularly hosting special events like concerts and television specials.

Presbyterian Church

810 Princess Anne Street
Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5820, United States
Telephone: (540) 373-7057

The first Presbyterian house of worship was constructed by 1810. The new building at Princess Anne Street (built in 1833 and restored in 1866) is thought to have been designed by one of Thomas Jefferson’s architects. It has stayed true to its original style and is a remarkable instance of Jeffersonian Roman Revival design. The sanctuary is considered the city's oldest house of worship.

During the Battle of Fredericksburg, the church bell was turned into a cannon, and the church grounds were used by the army. The new bell installed in 1870 bears the words: “Purchased by the Ladies of Fredericksburg in 1870 to Replace the Bell Freely Given to the Confederate States and Melted into Cannon, Our Land, Our Laws, Our Altars to Defend.”

You can still see two cannon balls lodged in a pillar in the front of the sanctuary. The famous poet Walt Whitman came here looking for his brother who had been wounded in the battle. He stayed on to help care for the wounded. The experience inspired him to write “The Wound-Dresser.”

The church is on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Virginia Landmarks Register, and not far from your Fredericksburg Inn.