Mission Tumacacori

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.

Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
In 1803, building of this church began, however due to lack of funds, it wasn't completed until about 1823.

Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ

Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ

Painting of interior of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
The interior of what the church once looked like.

Interior model of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Model replica of services of the church in its former splendor.

Interior of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
What remains now.

Interior of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ

Altar and cross of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
A trace of the tapestries that once decorated the walls can still be seen.

tapestry painting interior of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ


In the garden of the park.

graveyard cemetary of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Graveyard behind the church.

soto grave Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Father Juan Ignacio Rodriguez Soto's grave.

round mortuary chapel in graveyard cemetary of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
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.

graveyard cemetary of Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ

convent interior at Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Interior of the convent next to the church.

convent at Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Remains of the convent.

grounding stone at Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ museum
Grounding stone.

Father Diaz, Joaquin Felix Diaz, Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Besides artifacts and paintings, this life-like model of Father Diaz stands inside the park museum.

Father Diaz, Joaquin Felix Diaz, Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
His glare is very realistic.

press for making communion wafers, museum at Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
Press for making communion wafers.

model of war with apaches at Tumacacori Mission, Arizona, AZ
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

Address: 1891 E Frontage Rd, Tumacacori-Carmen, AZ
Fees: $3
Hours: Daily 9am - 5pm
Websites: nps.gov/tuma/index.htm

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