Tucson Sights

Advertisement

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Cross

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Mission San Xavier del Bac Review

The oldest Catholic church in the United States still serving the community for which it was built, San Xavier was founded in 1692 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who established 22 missions in northern Mexico and southern Arizona. The current structure was made out of native materials by Franciscan missionaries between 1777 and 1797, and is owned by the Tohono O'odham tribe.

The beauty of the mission, with elements of Spanish, baroque, and Moorish architectural styles, is highlighted by the stark landscape against which it is set, inspiring an early-20th-century poet to dub it the White Dove of the Desert.

Inside, there's a wealth of painted statues, carvings, and frescoes. Paul Schwartzbaum, who helped restore Michelangelo's masterwork in Rome, supervised Tohono O'odham artisans in the restoration of the mission's artwork, completed in 1997; Schwartzbaum has called the mission the Sistine Chapel of the United States. Mass is celebrated at 8:30 am Tuesday through Friday in the church, Saturday afternoon at 5:30, and three times on Sunday morning. Call ahead for information about special celebrations.

Across the parking lot from the mission, San Xavier Plaza has a number of crafts shops selling the handiwork of the Tohono O'odham tribe, including jewelry, pottery, friendship bowls, and woven baskets with man-in-the-maze designs.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 1950 W. San Xavier Rd., 9 miles southwest of Tucson on I–19, Westside, Tucson, AZ, 85746 | Map It
  • Phone: 520/294–2624
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Church daily 7–5, museum and gift shop daily 8–5
  • Website:
  • Location: Northwest Tucson and Westside
Updated: 05-27-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Be the first to review this property

Advertisement

· Map of Mission San Xavier del Bac

Map of



  • Grand Canyon River Rafting Trip

    GRAND CANYON RIVER RAFTING NOTES May, 2014 These are a few impressions from my recent (Early May, 2014) rafting trip in the Grand Can... Read more

  • Saguaro/Tucson

    Link to my photos http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0IatW7FqybsWt3 Sorry---Lots of food pics Even though our quick week... Read more

View more trip reports

· Forum

View more travel discussions