Mission San Xavier del Bac, Photo: Flickr, jdnx

Things To See In Arizona: Mission San Xavier Del Bac

Looking to explore something unique? Visit the stunning Mission San Xavier del Bac — an experience that offers learning, fun and exposure to an Arizona treasure that has been cherished for years.

Mission San Xavier del Bac is the oldest European structure (intact) in Arizona filled with the original mural paintings and statues. The church strives for its original purpose of providing to the religious needs to is parishioners. The current church originated in the 1700s during the time when Arizona was considered part of New Spain.

Due to an earthquake in 1887, which resulted in knocking down the mortuary wall and damaging various areas of the church, renovations began in 1905, and another set of repairs occurred after a lightening strike hit the West Tower lantern in 1939. This later inspired a group of community leaders to form the Patronato San Xavier in 1978, in order to promote conservation of the Mission San Xavier. Because of this organization, extensive water damage was found; and, after a five year effort by the Patronato, the damage would be repaired. In 1989, work on the exterior began in order to keep this treasure other repairs need to be accomplished.

The architecture of the church was constructed with low-fire clay bricks, stones and lime mortar and little information is known about the interior decorator. The church has a number of Franciscan references both in façade as well as throughout the church.

The Mission San Xavier offers scheduled masses and guided tours. Docent tours (or guided tours) consist of volunteers from the community knowledgeable in the history, architecture and culture of the Mission as well as its surroundings. The tours begin outside the museum entrance and last about 45 minutes. You do not need to sign up in advance to participate.

This national treasure has been a proud site for Arizona’s that draws in- and out-of-state visitors year-round. Whether you enjoy the architecture, art or the Mission’s history, this is an amazing opportunity to preserve this organization for future generations. Visit with school, friends and/or family to discover why this hidden Tucson gem is worth preserving.



For more information about Mission San Xavier del Bac, please visit patronatosanxavier.org.

Mission San Xavier del Bac
1950 W. San Xavier Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85746
(520) 407-6130

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