Tour the architectures in the Southwest - Church - 2 :
San Xavier del Bac Mission - 2 (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

When entering the south entrance, the long axis of the repeated dome ceilings extends to the main altar at the back. St. Francis Xavier dressed in white stands on in the center of the altar, and a golden Mary image is above it and a small redheaded Christ image leans out of the top of the screen.

With the biggest dome in front of the altar as an intersection, the wings are orthogonalized to create a cross. Both ends of the wing's corridors are a wonderful workmanship altar which is also worthy the main altar. The west altar worships St. Francis of Assisi and the east alter the Virgin Mary.

On the dome ceiling floating white, the fresco saints and angels drift like riding on clouds, and on the walls of the believer seat, pictures depicting scenes in Christianity like the Last Supper line up.

Images connecting them are that of a scallop, which appears repeatedly in the ceiling as the symbol of pilgrimage to Spain's sanctuary, Santiago de Compostela, and that of a fringe as the symbol of a string of the Franciscan monk's clerical robe.

Early churches built in the frontier seemed to have had a limit in procuring materials and technology locally. While indigenous people were involved in construction, the major statues were ordered from Mexico, one of the colonial centers, and there is an theory that red and blue paints that vividly colored the walls was brought from the Europe.

Carefully looking at the elaborately crafted statue, the relief of the altar is slightly coarse, and the coloring given to the pillars and dome is swinging in freehand.

In the first impression, it seemed to be a local architecture that the indigenous people of this land interpreted Christianity and Baroque in their own way, but the state that various precisions coexists suggests the overlap of cultures, that is, a low-tech indigenous culture, Mexican culture that was an advanced are in the New Continent and possibly European culture.

It was an architecture that skillfully blended a local craftmanship and the latest technology in the 18th century, that is, locality and internationality.

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

20 minutes by car from downtown Tucson.
40minutes by the public Transportation system from downtown Tucson. Go by Sun Tran from to Roy Laos Transit Center and exchange into the public mini shuttle bus "Route 440" to San Xavier Mission.

Sun Tran
Sun Shuttle

Mission San Xavier del Bac

Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau

Arizona Inn
Canyon Ranch
Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort
Hotel Congress
Lodge on the Desert
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort
Westward Look Resort

Americas Best Value Inn Tucson
Days Inn Tucson Convention Center
Hotel Tucson City Center InnSuites
Motel 6 Tucson - Congress Street #50

Catalina Park Inn
Desert Dove B & B
El Presidio B & B
The Royal Elizabeth B & B Inn
The Big Blue House Inn
Armory Park B & B

"San Xavier - The Spirit Endures" (Kathleen Walker, Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona, 2009)

2018.01 Photos and text in English version and Japanese version


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San Xavier del Bac Mission (1797)

Photo by Daigo Ishii