Mission San Xavier

Marty CohenArchitecture, Arizona, B+W, Tucson6 Comments

Mission San Xavier Exterior

Exterior iew of Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, AZ

(To see the most detail in this image, click on it to enlarge it!)

Mission San Xavier del Bac is a National Historic Landmark founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from New Spain and Spanish Franciscans took over the Mission in 1768. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. It’s the oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with beautiful original statuary and mural paintings. It retains its original purpose of ministering to the religious needs of its parishioners.

It is constructed of low-fire clay brick, stone and lime mortor, the entire structure is roofed with masonary vaults, making it unique among Spanish Colonial buildings within U. S. borders. An earthquake in 1887 knocked down the mortuary wall and damaged parts of the church. Extensive repairs began in 1905. Restoration efforts have continued over the years. As you can see in this image, the exterior is only about 50 percent restored.

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The photo was taken with a Canon EOS D60, EF17-40mm f/4L lens, 1/250 sec at f/9.5, ISO 100 on Lexar Digital Film.

6 Comments on “Mission San Xavier”

  1. Marty,
    You’ve worked hard on your architectural photography and it shows. This a lovely image
    showing all the complications of structure, shape and lines. Beautifully accomplished.

  2. I really like this !! Christina and I are wondering what did you do with the people ??? We have been there and never seen it with noone in front of it – it is always crowded – did you photoshop them out?
    Looking forward to seeing the inside photographs – this one is absolutely gorgeous and captures the spirit of the Mission.

    1. We were there on a Monday afternoon and I set my camera up ion the tripod and just waited until there was no one in front of me. No Photoshop tricks here, but I think being there on a Monday was the answer.

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