Panna Maria, Texas

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Panna Maria
Unincorporated community
Panna Maria, Texas.JPG
Panna Maria is located in Texas
Panna Maria
Panna Maria
Location within the state of Texas
Panna Maria is located in the US
Panna Maria
Panna Maria
Panna Maria (the US)
Coordinates: 28°57′29″N 97°53′50″W / 28.95806°N 97.89722°W / 28.95806; -97.89722Coordinates: 28°57′29″N 97°53′50″W / 28.95806°N 97.89722°W / 28.95806; -97.89722
Country United States
State Texas
County Karnes
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 78144
GNIS feature ID 1364749[1]
Panna Maria Historic District
Area 2,400 acres (970 ha)
Built 1854 (1854)
Architectural style Gothic Revival, Polish Colonial
NRHP reference # 76002043[2]
Added to NRHP May 13, 1976
Hand-painted welcome sign welcoming visitors to town

Panna Maria (Polish for Virgin Mary) is a small unincorporated community in Karnes County, Texas, United States. It is the oldest Polish settlement in the United States.


A Franciscan missionary, Father Leopold Moczygemba, started recruiting Upper Silesians in 1852, when Silesia. The immigrants began arriving at Indianola in early December 1854. With carts to haul them inland being scarce, the immigrants walked to their land grants near San Antonio and the town was settled on Christmas Eve in 1854.

The town's identity as an insular Polish enclave was sealed by four factors:

  1. Bypassed by the railroads
  2. Union in sympathy (Settlers were also unionist and were occasionally massacred in Texas during this period)
  3. Polish Resurrectionist priests arrived from Europe
  4. A sisterhood of Polish teaching nuns was established

The Panna Maria Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[3]

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