“tells the tale of life and land transformed by the mixing of cultures”
More than just adobe, plaster, and wood, these ruins evoke tales of life and land transformed by cultures meeting and mixing. Father Kino’s 1691 landmark visit to an O’odham village when he established Mission Tumacácori was just one event among many. Wave after wave of change has swept or crept across this realm - this land and its people are not static. Tumacácori National Monument (now National Historical Park) was established in 1908 to protect, preserve and tell the story of the old Spanish and O'odham mission church. In 2005, more than 300 acres were added to the park, reuniting the church grounds with a small piece of historical mission property and placing more than a mile of Santa Cruz River riparian environment, mesquite bosque (forest) and a section of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historical Trail ("Anza Trail") within the park. Founded in 1691 by Jesuit missionary and explorer Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, San José de Tumacácori mission was one of the first Anglo settlements in what is today Arizona. Father Kino's mission was to convert the Pima Indians, and for the first 60 years, the mission was successful. However, in 1751, during the Pima Revolt, the mission was destroyed. For the next 70 years, this mission struggled to survive, but during the 1820s, an adobe mission church was constructed. Today, the mission ruins are a silent and haunting reminder of the role that Spanish missionaries played in settling the Southwest. Much of the old adobe mission church still stands, and the Spanish architectural influences can readily be seen. A small museum contains exhibits on mission life and the history of the region. On weekends between January and April, Native American and Mexican craftspeople give demonstrations of indigenous crafts. January through April, there are also tours to the nearby mission ruins of Calabazas and Guevavi. These tours are by reservation and cost $20 per person. La Fiesta de Tumacácori, a celebration of Indian, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures, is held the first weekend of December.
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Tumacacori National Historical Park
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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