Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius

The painted churches of Texas are one of the Lone Star State’s best historical treasures. The legacy of German and Czech immigrants, these churches are a testimony to the faith of those who settled frontier towns from the Gulf Coast to the Texas Hill Country. There are about twenty painted churches in Texas — so called because their sanctuaries are beautifully adorned with hand-painted murals and other colorful decorative elements.
Painted Church ShinerThe Catholic Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Shiner, Texas is one of the most beautiful of the painted churches. Shiner was founded by German and Czech immigrants in 1887. While the early citizens of Shiner were busy building their homes and businesses, they did not neglect the spiritual welfare of their new community. The first Catholic church building was completed in 1891 and served the people of the community for many years.
Shiner Church Entry AngelRapid growth of the parish in subsequent years led to the construction of the larger church building that is still in use today. Completed in 1921, this beautiful building is regarded as one of the most magnificent Gothic structures between San Antonio and Houston. The church is named after Saints Cyril and Methodius, two brothers who were honored missionaries to the Slavic peoples during the ninth century.
Shiner MuralsBoth the exterior and interior of the church building are a feast for the eyes. The exterior is patterned after the Romanesque architectural style. The interior boasts a beautiful hand-painted mural behind the ornate altar depicting Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Other painted features include clouds on the ceiling of the dome above the altar and angels on the panel above the arch as you face the altar. These beautiful murals are the work of Edmond Fatjo, the artist. Fatjo was trained in Berlin and specialized in painting church interiors.
Shiner Stained GlassThe six large stained glass windows depicting Biblical scenes were made in Munich, Germany and imported to Shiner when the church was built. Stand glass windows, it seems, have become a forgotten element in modern church architecture. However, the stained glass windows in the sanctuary of the church in Shiner not only add a worshipful ambiance to the interior, they serve as a passive form of education — like illustrated pages from the Scriptures.
Shiner Interior BackThe dramatic murals and other decorative elements make the Catholic Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius one of the most beautiful churches in the Lone Star State. It’s no wonder that this church has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. Other painted churches are located in the towns of Ammansville, Dubina, High Hill, Praha, Schulenberg, West, and Fredericksburg — all towns whose historic painted churches are a testimony to the spiritual and cultural legacy of early German and Czech immigrants to Texas.
Shiner Church EntryAs you consider daytrips near you or roadtrips farther away from you, consider visiting the painted churches of Texas. They are indeed a Texas treasure. The church in Sculenburg keeps its doors open throughout the week and welcomes visitors. You can check the internet for the best times to visit some of the other painted churches or sign up for a tour of the painted churches through the Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce.

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