Tuesday 3-12-13 we decided it would be a great day to go visit the Mission San Xavier del Bac.
Called the White Dove of the Desert, Mission San Xavier del Bac, an active Roman Catholic church serving the San Xavier Indian Reservation, is a blindingly white adobe building that rises from a sere, brown landscape. Considered the finest example of mission architecture in the Southwest, the beautiful church was built between 1783 and 1797, and incorporates Moorish, Byzantine, and Mexican Renaissance architectural styles. The church, however, was never actually completed, which becomes apparent only when the two bell towers are compared. One is topped with a dome, while the other has none. Colorful murals cover the interior walls, and behind the altar are elaborate decorations. To the left of the main altar, in a glass sarcophagus, is a statue of St. Francis Xavier, the mission’s patron saint, who is believed to answer the prayers of the faithful. A visit to San Xavier’s little museum provides a bit of historical perspective and a chance to explore more of the mission. To the east of the church, atop a small hill, you’ll find not only an interesting view of the church, but also a replica of the famous grotto in Lourdes, France. There are often food stalls selling fry bread in the parking lot in front of the church.
———————————————————————————————————-The mission is only 6 or 7 miles from our park so it was a quick drive over. From everything I have read about it I expected a smallish building and figured there wouldn’t be much to see but once we could see a glimpse of it I knew I was wrong. It was very impressive.
There was a small building setting to the side of the mission that obviously had great significance because it sat by itself and was filled with candles. As I was taking the picture two people went to the entrance of the walkway each carrying candles and both dropped to there knee’s and crawled the entire way to the small building.
That sort of set us back and we didn’t really know what to do but we decided to just walk past them and carry on with our tour. And thats a pretty long walkway. By the time I gathered myself and took a picture the guy was already inside.
After our visit and on our way back to the jeep we decided to try a Indian Fry Flatbread. They were making them in the parking lot of the mission. And they tasted great.
After the mission we decided to check out downtown Tucson. That turned out to be a pain because of the construction going on. Traffic was a mess, crosswalks were all screwed up,, and it was noisy but we were there so we found a parking garage and then made our way to the visitors center and then headed out on foot. There were 2 places we wanted to find at least.
One was the Hotel Congress. We were told it was worth a look see. And it was pretty neat. There are a couple old bars inside that date way back and we did find these 2 phone booths that took us back.
But all in all it didn’t rate very high on my must see list so we didn’t spend much time there before we headed out to find the second place we wanted to see.
And I must add that Diane and I added at least 2 miles to our walking tour because we simply got lost LOL!! As it turns out we were just a couple blocks away from the Hotel Congress when we thought for sure we was in the wrong place and turned around. 45 min. later we were walking right past the spot we turned around at the first time,,, geezzz. And mind you it was like 85 degree’s outside. Not that I’m complaining about good weather.
So away we went to find the Transportation Museum. http://tucsonhistoricdepot.org/
The museum had some pretty cool stuff in it but the main attraction was the old steam engine they had on display outside. It is under lock and key but we got a private tour that got us up inside the engine. It was very very informative.
After our visit at the museum we took off walking to the parking garage to grab the jeep and head back home.
All in all a pretty good day.