Welcome to the Sophienburg Museum and Archives. Take the journey with Prince Carl and his group of German colonists as they cross the ocean and make their way into central Texas. Admire their courage and determination to establish a new colony at the edge of Indian Territory. Live their dream of freedom, adventure and prosperity. Exhibits, rich in local artifacts, photographic images, maps and documents, take visitors through the history and cultural heritage of New Braunfels and Comal County. The Sophienburg Museum offers public lectures, school programs and community events that promote the area’s unique history. The Archives offers materials and resources for research and genealogy.
The Museum and Archives are open 5 days/week, Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum and Archives is closed Good Friday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
In 1844 Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels and a group of emigrants set out from Germany to start a colony in the Republic of Texas. The Prince chose a site on the Comal River because of its abundant water, lush vegetation, and "a good omen." On March 21, 1845, he and his band of pioneers founded New Braunfels, named for his hometown in Germany.
Prince Carl chose a hill overlooking the beginnings of the town and began his plan to build a castle on the site. His home was to be calledSophienburg (Sophie’s Castle) for his fiancée, Lady Sophia, Princess of Salm-Salm. He returned to Germany to bring Sophia to Texas, but she refused to leave. Prince Carl chose his fiancée over Texas and stayed in Germany to marry Sophia. He never returned to Texas. Today the Sophienburg Museum and Archives stands on the hill chosen long ago by Prince Carl.