Jun 09

Mission San Xavier del Bac – Tucson

Tucson Mission The Mission San Xavier del Bac is a must see if you are traveling in the Tucson area of Arizona.   It is a beautiful historic Spanish Catholic Mission that was founded in 1692 and the current building was completed in 1797. It is always amazing to me to think about all the history that has gone on in the world whenever I am looking at an old building, structure, or document.  If those walls could talk it would be fascinating to hear all the stories and lives that it has seen.

The mission is the oldest intact Spanish structure in Arizona and has been undergoing a restoration effort since 1989.  The architecture of the building just left me awe-struck from the detailed work on the entryway to the carvings and ornaments in the sanctuary.  I just cannot believe that something like that can last that long in such a harsh environment like the Arizona desert.
Arizona Mission

It is a working mission and they do have mass, but the place is worth going to see if you are at all interested in history or want to see interesting architecture.  There is a small museum area that explains the details and history of the church.  Besides the artifacts from the church that are on display they also have a good 20 minute video that explains the history of the church and the restoration effort to preserve it.  Next to the museum is a candle lighting area where you can either buy candles and take them home or pay to keep it lit there as a prayer or remembrance of a loved one.  The last area to go over is their gift shop. I was too busy looking at the building and learning about it to stop by but I believe they have several different things made by the Tohono O’odham which is the Native American tribe the Mission resides on.
The Lion and the Mission

If you decide to go here I would suggest taking the short hike up the small hill just next to the mission to get a little bit better view of the size and scope of Mission San Xavier del Bac.  Even though it is a little bit out of the way being south of Tucson if you are ever in the area I would highly recommend going.  It is not every day in the United States that a person gets to see a building that was started (1783) as the same year that Britain officially released us to become our own country.   The only bit of advice is to remember that this is a place of religion so show it some respect even if you are not a religious person yourself.  I would recommend at least thirty minutes to an hour to spend there.
Mission San Xavier

Mission San Xavier del Bac
Located at – 1950 W. San Xavier Rd.
Open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily except for when the church is being used for weddings, funerals, and masses.
Cost as of this posting- Free but donations are recommended
For more information visit their website at http://www.sanxaviermission.org/

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