September 5, 2015

1877 UNITED STATES (Arizona) - Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson

Located about 16km south of downtown Tucson, on the Tohono O'odham San Xavier Indian Reservation, Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission, founded in 1692 and named for a pioneering Christian missionary and co-founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order), Francis Xavier. In 1700 construction began on a church at a site nearby the current Mission. It served the community until razed by Apaches in 1770. Today's Mission was built between 1783-1797 and is widely considered to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.

The site is also known as the "place where the water appears", as there were once natural springs in the area. Extensive restoration in the late 20th century has returned the Mission interior to its historic splendor. San Xavier has an elegant white stucco Moorish-inspired exterior, with an ornately decorated entrance. Visitors entering the massive, carved mesquite-wood doors are often struck both by the coolness of the interior and the dazzling colors of the paintings, carvings, frescoes and statues.

About the stamps
The first stamp, depicting a Digitalis, belongs to a series featuring 10 images from vintage flower seed packets, about which I wrote here. The second stamp, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here.

Mission San Xavier del Bac - Wikipedia
Mission San Xavier del Bac - Official website

Sender: Cecilia Northcote
Sent from Sahuarita (Arizona / United States), on 28.05.2013
Photo: Bob Clemenz

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