- Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
- Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
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Sitting just south of Tucson near the airport, Mission San Xavier del Bac (known as the White Dove of the Desert) is a stunning example of 18th-century architecture. Influenced by Moorish, Byzantine, Renaissance and Mexican architectural styles, this active Roman Catholic Church is worth visiting just for the photo ops, according to travelers. Visitors are invited to tour this National Historic Landmark as an architectural site or sit in on weekly Mass.
Recent visitors said that this is a must-see when in Tucson and strongly recommended taking a guided tour, offered by Patronato San Xavier, a nonprofit that raises money to preserve and restore the mission. Tours are offered Monday through Saturday; visit Patronato's website for specific tour times. Though reviewers gushed over the mission's beauty, they also warned that the neighborhood is not as nice as other parts of Tucson.
Mission San Xavier del Bac is open to the public every day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but if you happen to pop in during a service, remember to be respectful to the congregation. The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the gift shop stays open until 5 p.m. The Mass schedule is posted on the mission's website. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.
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