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.