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The Cathedral of Junk in Texas is a Southern Gem

The Cathedral of Junk in Texas is a Southern Gem

We highly recommend checking out the Cathedral of Junk on your next road trip to Texas.

It’s a backyard art installation that draws in people from miles around, but it’s not as easy to find as you may think.

Now that we’ve piqued your interest keep reading to find out what the Cathedral of Junk is and how you can visit it.

Let’s go!

Where Is the Cathedral of Junk?

You can find the Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas. It’s on the south side of town in Vince Hannemann’s backyard at 4422 Lareina Drive.

Take US 81/290 to the Highway 71 or Ben White Boulevard East exit. Then head west on Highway 71 to the Congress Avenue exit. Go a couple of blocks south, turn right on St. Elmo Road West, and take the second left onto Lareina. 

You can’t see it from the street, so a drive-by is out of the question. You’ll need a reservation to see the backyard art. Also, since it’s a private home and a residential neighborhood, it’s important to respect the community while you visit.

Pro Tip: Be careful while road tripping through Texas to see the Cathedral of Junk that you don’t find yourself on one of The Most Dangerous Roads in Texas.

About the Cathedral of Junk

Local artists call Vince Hannemann the “yardist.” The Cathedral of Junk is his backyard creation that has evolved since 1988. It’s a collection of junk pieced together in various shapes and levels.

From road signs to tools to unrecognizable items, the Cathedral has it all. When asked why he built it, Vince simply said: “I just did it because I liked it.”  

Image of all the junk in the Cathedral of Junk.
The Cathedral of Junk is a must see on your next road trip in Texas.

Can You Visit the Cathedral of Junk?

You can visit the Cathedral of Junk but must call ahead before doing so. Since the Cathedral is in Vince Hannemann’s backyard and he works a day job, you need an appointment to see the yard art. Hours vary depending on his availability.

On average, people look around for a couple of hours, and Vince is open to questions and conversation. To make your reservation call Vince at (512) 299-7413.

Besides personal tours, Vince also gets requests to hold weddings, birthday parties, and other events. If you’re looking for a unique venue, the Cathedral of Junk is an interesting choice. You can ask about the options for hosting events.

How Much Does It Cost to Enter the Cathedral?

There’s no fee to visit the Cathedral of Junk. However, there is a suggested donation of $10 for a group and $5 for individuals.

Guests often bring a piece of junk as a gift to Vince as well. He may or may not decide to add your selection to the Cathedral.

Remember, it’s his work of art, and the artist needs to feel that the piece fits.

Woman jumping in front of I heart Austin sign.
While exploring Austin, make sure to check out the Cathedral of Junk.

Best Hikes Near the Cathedral of Junk

Since the Cathedral of Junk only takes a couple of hours to visit, you may be interested in some fun hikes in the Austin area. Here are a couple of our favorites.

Sunset Valley Loop

The Sunset Valley Loop is an easy 1.7-mile trail. The loop is shaded and typically has a moderate amount of traffic. You may see wildlife on this hike. The trail lies southwest of downtown Austin and about five miles from the Cathedral of Junk.

Sculpture Falls

Sculpture Falls is a moderate 4.2-mile loop. It provides views of beautiful waterfalls in a wooded area. It’s west of downtown Austin and about six miles from the Cathedral of Junk.

Best Camping Near the Cathedral of Junk

We recommend staying a couple of nights or more to visit the Cathedral of Junk and the various activities Austin has to offer. The following are two campgrounds near the Cathedral. They also provide easy access to downtown Austin.

Austin Lone Star RV Resort

Austin Lone Star RV Resort is open year-round and has full hookup sites. They have back-in and pull-through gravel campsites up to 50 feet long. It’s a pet-friendly resort with bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a fitness center, and a swimming pool. 

Windy Point Park

Windy Point Park is open year-round and sits on Lake Travis. It offers primitive tent camping only. The park has showers, Wi-Fi, picnic tables, grills, and a boat launch.

Pro Tip: Interested in exploring more of Texas? Check out these 11 Best RV Parks In Texas.

Is a Cathedral of Junk Road Trip Worth It? 

The Cathedral of Junk provides a rare look into someone’s art and passion. We think it’s worth a visit to get a glimpse into Vince’s backyard. It may surprise you. He reports that people can be unexpectedly emotional when walking through the Cathedral.

Some are surprised at how small it looks from the outside but are overwhelmed by the meaningful treasures they find inside.

Are you curious enough to take a road trip to the Cathedral of Junk? We hope you schedule a visit if you’re in Austin. And when you do, please share your experience with us!

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