San Xavier del Bac Mission was founded by Father Kino, a Jesuit, in 1692 on the Spanish frontier and to Christianize the natives. It continues to serve the Tohono O’odham nation with regular mass and services.
The current buildings were constructed 1783-1797 in a Spanish Colonial style. Each year a pilgrimage of thousands come on foot to worship. There is a school, tribal offices for the natives, and a market place.
The interior of the nave was very elaborate with decorative carvings, murals, statuary, etc. A courtyard is attached, with a museum at the edge. And, a walkway goes around to a gift shop.
Well tended gardens surround the main church and outside chapel. A sacred grotto is on nearby hill. In front of the mission was a large field where natives were setup with food and craft booths.
Camp: Overnight at Casino del Sol
Scene: Mission, chapel, gardens