360° VR Panoramas of Cactus Country, Southern Arizona
San Xavier del Bac Mission
South of Tucson, Arizona

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San Xavier Church rises from the flat desert like a mirage

San Xavier Church rises from the flat desert like a mirage

Though it is on the edge of a sprawling metropolitan area, San Xavier is surrounded by agricultural lands of the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation.

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

San Xavier del Bac is known as the White Dove of the Desert

San Xavier del Bac is known as the White Dove of the Desert

The white-painted mission church of San Xavier del Bac has long been known as the "White Dove of the Desert". It was founded in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino to minister to the Tohono O-odham people. It still stands on tribal land and continues to fulfill its original mission.

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

The elaborate baroque facade of San Xavier del Bac

The elaborate baroque facade of San Xavier del Bac

The beautifully restored facade of the church is a combination of richly carved natural stone and white painted stucco, with carved mesquite wood doors

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

The gift shop at San Xavier del Bac Mission church

The gift shop at San Xavier del Bac Mission church

A cactus garden west of the entrance to the Mission Church of San Xavier del Bac leads to a small gift shop

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

The nave of San Xavier consists of a series of domes

The nave of San Xavier consists of a series of domes

The most elaborate Moorish/Spanish style church in the southwest, San Xavier is built of stone with a 52 foot high dome over the crossing

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

An effigy of St Francis Xavier dominates the west transept at San Xavier

An effigy of St Francis Xavier dominates the west transept at San Xavier

An effigy of St Francis is an object of pilgrimage and special devotion in the church. Devout pilgrims with a request for the saint reach into the case and lift the body - if they can do so easily their prayers will be heard

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Altar and transepts of San Xavier Mission church

Altar and transepts of San Xavier Mission church

The transepts and altar alcove are especially richly decorated

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Courtyard garden and cloister at San Xavier

Courtyard garden and cloister at San Xavier

A small courtyard next to the curch is surrounded by cloisters and chapels

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Rocky hill next to Mission San Xavier del Bac

Rocky hill next to Mission San Xavier del Bac

Grottoes and memorials on a rocky hill above Mission San Xavier del Bac

San Xavier del Bac National Historic Landmark, south of Tucson, Arizona

Date photographed: April 14, 2014
See location in Google Maps

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