Thursday, January 1, 2009

On a Mission!

Our Tuesday trip to Tubac included a stop at San Xavier Mission just south of Tucson. All I can say is wow! It was well worth the trip. The art and architecture were absolutely beautiful. Here's some information about the mission from their website:

The present church was built from 1783 - 1797 by the Franciscan Fathers Juan Bautista Velderrain and Juan Bautista Llorenz. Little is know about the actual labor of the construction of the church, who was the architect, who were the artisans, but many believe it was the Tohono O'odham who fufilled these roles. Why the one tower was never completed is still a mystery, but hopefully one day this question will be answered.

San Xavier Mission is acclaimed by many to be the finest example of mission architecture in the United States. It is a graceful blend of Moorish, Byzantine and late Mexican Renaissance architecture, yet the blending is so complete it is hard to tell where one type begins and another ends.

The church is a series of domes and arches that create enclaves for themes of painting on the various walls, domes and rooms. The area behind the high altar is a dazzling gilt of colors. The wall paintings are all original, but over time have needed to be touched up. Time and the harsh desert weather have taken a toll on the the beauty that is within the church and the entire mission complex. Currently the church is going through an ongoing restoration that tries to clean, repair and preserve as much of the church as it can. Outside the church, the restoration is even more extensive, and for this we have the gracious donations of visitors, patrons and the Patronato.

I took a slew of photos, so instead of trying to post them individually, I put them into a slideshow.


Jamqueen said...

Beautiful photos! I think I have been to this church--I will have to look thru my old slides--I think we went there while on a trip across country in 1973!
Happy New Year!

Moongrl722 said...

That was awesome! The colors and the ornate altar are so beautiful and inspiring! The music went with it so well and was so cheerful that you could almost hear the mission bells ringing. It makes me want to go crazy thru my house with paint. Good job!! Bravo!

couzin frank said...

AH!BACH! Enjoyed the pics...Have a great New Year.

Life's a Beach! said...

Hope all of you have a great 2009 too! Moonie, I could use some of that paint in my house, but wouldn't know where to start! Probably safer to paint objects and put them on the back patio! :) Ann, this is the most ornate mission I've toured in the U.S. I think I might try and talk friends into a return visit.