San Xavier Mission

My dad's high school roomate Elmer took Lance and I to San Xavier Mission today, just south of Tucson. The mission was built by the Spanish and completed in 1797. Right now it is undergoing a restoration of the stucco on the towers. The work is slow. Each tower will cost $1.3 million.

Attached to the mission is a functioning school and a Franciscan monastery. The arches frame the scene looking north towards Tucson.

I have a feeling that this old wood door is original from two hundred years ago. The round plates, of which there were several, are raised above the surrounding wood by about 1/4 inch, and are supported by wood--as if the exposed wood was worn down by two hundred years of sandblasting from the desert winds, while the wood protected by the round iron plates remained at the original level.

Hundreds of votive candles flicker around the interior of the church. Here, they reflect the recently restored painting of the stucco on the inside walls.

The sun shines off the beautifully painted walls of the inside of the church. The interior restoration was completed several years ago, and was meant to reflect what the church might have looked like originally. After touring two dozen Mexican churches one year ago, it was interesting to get back into a similar building. While the themes and basic designs are similar in each church, the painting of the walls is the one area where riotous individuality prevailed.

Speaking of individuality, while I was soberly recording San Xavier, Lance found the humor. I had taken a picture of this tile picture of Mary, but Lance thought to include the drinking fountain.