Mission San Xavier del Bac
Known as the White Dove of the Desert and one of the most photographed historic landmarks in Arizona. In the late 1700's Arizona was part of New Spain and it was in this period that the San Xavier Mission was founded in 1692. The original church was destroyed by Apache attacks, and the current church was built between 1783 and 1797 when Arizona was part of New Spain. It became part of Mexico in 1821, and joined the United States in 1872.
The church is filled with mural paintings and statuary - almost every available space has a painting or a sculpture - and the grounds are peaceful. There is a museum explaining more about the history and containing artefacts such as old gowns, book and dishes which were once used at the church. . It is open to the public daily except when services are being held.
It is located 8 miles south of Tucson on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation. Around the mission are many Tohono Oodam food stands where you can try Indian frybread topped with either chilli and beans, or cinnamon and honey.
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