Mission San Xavier del Bac

Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona
Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona

Mission San Xavier del Bac is a National Historic Landmark located a few miles south of Tucson, Arizona.  Although the mission was founded in 1692, the original church was destroyed by Apache Indians in about 1770.  The one above, completed in 1797, is considered one of the best examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in the U.S.  I visited early one morning and was adopted by  a pair of local dogs as I walked up to the top of Grotto Hill which overlooks the church and the O’odham Nation Indian Reservation.  Because of its long history, it’s been through both stages of neglect and restoration.  Much of the restoration work was performed in the late 20th century after it was included on the National Register of Historic Places.   The building is low-fire clay brick, stone and lime mortar.  The interior is intricate, with fine wood work and baroque decorations throughout the chapel and altar areas.  A few photos from the visit are below along with a pair from 1870 found in the Library of Congress collection.

 

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Mission San Xavier in 1870
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Mission San Xavier in 1870

 

 

Las Trampas

San Jose De Gracia Catholic Church, Las Trampas, New Mexico
San Jose De Gracia Catholic Church, Las Trampas, New Mexico

Built in 1760, San Jose De Gracia Catholic Church is along the High Road to Taos, New Mexico. The village of Las Trampas was established in 1751 by a dozen families receiving a land grant from the Spanish governor.  The adobe walls are about six feet thick and the well-maintained church is considered one of the best preserved examples of Spanish Colonial architecture in New Mexico.  The National Park Service has a good history of the location here.  It’s located about ten miles away from San Lorenzo de Picuris.

San Jose De Gracia Catholic Church, Las Trampas, New Mexico
San Jose De Gracia Catholic Church, Las Trampas, New Mexico