History is dear to our hearts at Gruene Estate. Gruene Estate was built in 1856 and we try to stay true to the history and tradition of our German ancestors. The New Braunfels Preservation Society created what is now one of the largest museums in the State of Texas dedicated to preserving our German heritage and legacy called the Sophienburg Museum.
In 1845 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.” 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 called Sophienburg — 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.