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Where Gumbo Was #8.5: San Xavier de Bac Mission, Tucson, Arizona





DSCN1261Gumbo was visiting the Mission of San Xavier del Bac in Arizona, between Tucson and Green Valley, and once again WorkerBee gets the nod for catching him at it! 


Original puzzle HERE.


The mission is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona, and a great example of Spanish colonial architecture—some say the finest in the U.S., and is a registered National Historic landmark.


The mission dates to 1692, and the present church dates to 1783. The interior decorations and statuary are all originals. One of a chain of missions across Spanish territory, it was founded by Jesuits, but was taken over by the Franciscan order when the Jesuits were expelled from New Spain in 1767. It’s the only survivor in this area and is still an active congregation.


The Mission has had a checkered history as the area became part of Mexico and then the U.S. When Mexico became independent in 1821, the Spanish Franciscans left; the order returned in 1913, and a nearby convent is occupied by a Franciscan teaching order that runs a school at the mission.


Gumbo’s visit was on a Sunday, with friends who live nearby. The mission church and its tiny museum were crowded with both visitors and local worshippers. Amazing artwork in a not-very-large mini-cathedral, scented by thousands of votive candles; contrasting textures of wood, white-washed walls and fabric. Definitely a worthwhile stop, as the pictures show!


DSCN1273 For more information, click HERE.



Doorway detail 


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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