Driving on I-19 just south of Tucson, Mission San Xavier del Bac is hard to miss with its glowing white walls contrasting against its surroundings on the Tohono O’odham reservation. This historic mission is also very aptly known as the White Dove of the Desert.
The mission dates back to 1692 when it was established by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, however, the building that stands today is the oldest European structure in Arizona and was built between 1783-1797, when Southern Arizona was still part of New Spain.
The church’s interior is filled with original statuary and mural paintings.
The San Xavier church today still retains its original purpose of ministering and is still actively run by Franciscans. While open to the public daily, certain hours are held for mass.
Mission San Xavier del Bac Overview
- Address: 1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746
- Fees: FREE
- Usage: Moderate
- Things to note:
- Open to the public 7am – 5pm daily but check sanxaviermission.org for special events & mass times.
- Camera info: iPhone 7+