Monday, March 10, 2014
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located on the Tohono O’odham San Xavier Indian Reservation. The mission was named in 1692 by Padre Eusebio Kino for a pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), Francis Xavier. The mission is also known as the “place where the water appears”, as there were once natural springs in the area.
Outside, San Xavier has a white, Moorish-inspired design, elegant and simple, with an ornately decorated entrance. No records of the architect, builders, craftsmen or artisans responsible for creating and decorating it are known. Most of the labor was provided by the local Indians, and many believe they provided most or all of the artisans as well. Visitors entering the massive, carved mesquite-wood doors of San Xavier are often struck by the coolness of the interior, and the dazzling colors of the paintings, carvings, frescoes and statues. The interior is richly decorated with ornaments showing a mixture of New Spain and Native American artistic motifs.