Today, the National Park Service turned 97! In honor of their birthday, all national park entrance fees were waived. We took this opportunity to visit the Tumacacori National Historical Park down south near Tubac.
Now known as Mission San José de Tumacácori, it was established in January of 1691 by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, an Italian nobleman turned Jesuit priest. Mission Tumacácori is the oldest mission site in Arizona. It was originally located on the east side of the Santa Cruz River but after a Pima rebellion in 1751, the mission moved to its present site.
In 1767, King Charles III of Spain, for political reasons, banished the Jesuits from his realms, and placed Franciscans in their stead.
In 1803, building of this church began, however due to lack of funds, it wasn't completed until about 1823.
The interior of what the church once looked like.
Model replica of services of the church in its former splendor.
What remains now.
A trace of the tapestries that once decorated the walls can still be seen.
In the garden of the park.
Graveyard behind the church.
Father Juan Ignacio Rodriguez Soto's grave.
Round mortuary chapel, where vigils for the dead could be held before burial. The mission was abandoned before the domed ceiling and additional plastering could be placed.
Interior of the convent next to the church.
Remains of the convent.
Besides artifacts and paintings, this life-like model of Father Diaz stands inside the park museum.
His glare is very realistic.
Press for making communion wafers.
The mission was often besieged by attacks from local Apaches. The war with Mexico cut supply lines and the Apache increased their attacks, and so in late December of 1848, Tumacacori was abandoned.
Tumacacori National Historical Park
: 1891 E Frontage Rd, Tumacacori-Carmen, AZ
: Daily 9am - 5pm
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