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The Presbyterian Church has had a presence in the area since 1839, two and a half months prior to the chartership of Austin. Years later, divisions within the church over the issue of the Civil War caused the church to split. It was from this schism that the pro-northern Central Presbyterian Church was formed, though it was then called Southern Presbyterian Church. The title of the church has changed numerous times over the years, but they have been at their present downtown location since 1871. It was finally named the Central Presbyterian Church in 1983, when all conflicts were resolved.
The historic St. David's Episcopal Church was built in 1854. Located in Downtown Austin, the beautiful Gothic structure is one of the oldest buildings in the city and therefore, a part of the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). St. David's Episcopal Church is considered one of the most important places of worship in the city and is often sought for events such as baptisms and weddings.
Saint Mary Cathedral, designed by noted Texan architect Nicholas J. Clayton, is one of oldest Catholic churches in Austin. Its construction was completed in 1884, but exquisite French and German stained glass windows were added in much later. A beautiful piece of Gothic Revival architecture, this small cathedral now seems almost dwarfed by the high-rise buildings downtown. Apart from regular Sunday services, weekly masses are also conducted; check website for further information.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, an old Hispanic parish in Austin, was originally located on Fifth and Guadalupe. Built in 1907, the church was forced to move to its present location in east Austin in the 1920s due to a city-enforced master plan of cultural segregation. This second church was not large enough to accommodate the growing members, and the current church was set up in the 1950s. This congregation is especially known for its widespread celebration of the Feast of Guadalupe on December 12th, the patron saint not only of their church but for Latinos everywhere.
All Saints' Episcopal Church was built by Bishop George Herbert Kinsolving, who is buried in a crypt underneath the altar. Originally established as a chapel, this church served the members of Grace Hall, then a women's dormitory for the University of Texas. The chapel was given the designation of a church in 1909. Despite its close proximity to the UT campus, All Saints' attracts a varied congregation of singles and families alike, some driving from as far away as Buda to enjoy the warm atmosphere.
Located to the north of Austin, the Gethsemane Lutheran Church was established in 1960, replacing the historical Lutheran church on Congress Avenue, in downtown Austin. The architecture of this 21st-century church is quite unique; while being modern in style, it blends in Gothic designs. Standing on a 10-acre (4.04-hectare) property, the church grounds include a charming garden, playgrounds for little ones and an educational center.
Radha Madhav Dham is one of the biggest Hindu temples and ashrams in the entire United States, having been first established in 1990. Covering 200 acres, the Radha Madhav Dham attempts to represent the place in India where Radhi Rana and Shree Krishna first appeared over 5000 years ago. On a visit to the temple, visitors can see the beautiful, decorative architecture of the 35,000 square foot temple, stroll along beautiful paths through the lush garden, and meditate in the peaceful, holy environment. Radha Madhav Dham is truly a unique place in Austin. As it is also an ashram, people may reserve rooms for a more extended visit.
The Shree Raseshwari Radaha Rani Temple, part of the Barsana Ashram, is the largest Hindu temple in North America. This striking building was constructed by Hindu artisans and is part of a 230-acre property designed to reproduce the holy land of Braj in India. The Barsana Dham is the main U.S. center of the International Society of Divine Love and is designed to allow worshipers to explore the true devotional environment of historical Ashrams. This was the first Hindu temple built in Austin and it serves as both a place of worship and a center for traditional Indian cultural activities.