By: Crystal Sasse Ragsdale

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: May 7, 2016

Zinkenburg was the name given the first fortress on the site that became New Braunfels in Comal County. The fort was named in honor of Nicolaus Zink, a German civil engineer who came to Texas in 1844 with other German immigrants under the sponsorship of the Adelsverein and under the leadership of Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels. The settlers arrived at the site on March 21, 1845. Zinkenburg was located on a steep rise on the east bank of Comal Creek; Nicolaus Zink supervised construction of the fort, which consisted of a palisade enclosing a tent city. The fort had two bastions with cannon to protect the settlers until the Sophienburg (see SOPHIENBURG MUSEUM AND ARCHIVES) could be completed. Daily target practice was held at the fort to avert the danger of an Indian attack. Fritz Goldbeck, a German poet who lived at the Zinkenburg as a fourteen-year-old boy, described in poetry the wagons and white tents of the settlers within the stockade. In 1850 a Catholic church was built on the site, at the corner of present Zink Street and Castell Avenue. The original log church has been enclosed within the walls of the present Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Oscar Haas, History of New Braunfels and Comal County, Texas, 1844–1946 (Austin: Steck, 1968). New Braunfels Herald, December 19, 1963. Gerald S. Pierce, Texas Under Arms: The Camps, Posts, Forts, and Military Towns of the Republic of Texas (Austin: Encino, 1969).


  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Architecture

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Crystal Sasse Ragsdale, “Zinkenburg,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 23, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/zinkenburg.

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May 7, 2016