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Saturday, December 5, 2015

A stop at Tumacacori

Yesterday on the way home from Nogales we stopped at the Tumacacori National Historic Park - we could use our Senior Card from the National Park Services to tour it. That card is something every traveling senior should get. We have saved so much money using it over the years 
Several years ago we stopped here and walked around but wanted to get another look at it. 
The Jesuit Eusebio Francisco Kino arrived in the area in 1691. He founded the mission San Cayetrano de Tumacacori on the east bank of the Santa Cruz river. This was as far north as Kino went.  A look at the mission as it now stands. 

Because of raids by the Apaches the mission was moved to the west side of the river because there was a fort with soldiers just north in Tubac. 
scale model was under glass and too much reflection for a picture 
The way the mission looked when the National Park Service took over. Theodore Roosevelt signed the papers to make it a National Historic Park. The Park Service philosophy is to preserve the mission not restore it. 
This was built in 1977 following ancient customs by O;odham workerrs using traditional hand tools. It closely resembles the housing used at the time of the mission.  
We managed to catch a guided tour that was just starting. This building has been preserved. It was called a convento and included rooms where the priest lived, a kitchen, school rooms and guest housing. The buttresses were added by the park service as the wall was in danger of falling down. 
A look at the church. This was not the original church on this site. The original church was much smaller. 
Some more pictures of the convento
Looking inside it. Very thick walls.
The original wood doorway. 
The outline in the field is the size of the original church. The Park Service rebuild the outline. It is thought much of the material from the original church was used in building the bigger church. But what was left of the foundation clearly showed the location and size. I was started 1753 and in use in 1757. The Jesuit priest used it for 10 years until they were expelled in 1767. When the Franciscans arrived they used it until building the new church in 1822.

The "new" church built by the Franciscans. It has Egyptian, Spanish and Moorish architectural features. And was painted in bright colors, red, yellow and black. 
In the picture above you can see a round hole - that was where scaffolding was built into the walls during construction of the bell tower. 
The bell tower was never finished, it was supposed to have a dome. It was completed high enough for the bells to be hung. 
A closer look at the adobe blocks used to build the church. 
The adobe walls were covered with plaster, much of which has worn away. The choir loft used to be in this area but it was made of wood and after the church was abandoned the settlers salvaged the wood to use to build new structures. 
The stairs leading up to the choir loft. They are located in the Baptistery.
To the left of the entrance is the Baptistery. It is located right under the bell tower. The stairs are on the left side. 
A drawing of what the church probably looked like. 

Looking up at the only dome in the church. Right above the Sanctuary. Some of the colors still can be seen. 

The roof is not original, when the Park Service took over there was no roof. So what you can see is all new. 

Behind the church is the walled in cemetery. Over the years most of the graves are no longer marked. One grave however is carefully tended by the family of a girl who passed 100 years ago. They come every Day of the Dead to clean the area and leave new flowers.

Some of the statues that have been returned to the church. They are in the museum. If you are ever in the area this is a very pleasant place to visit.
And a reminder of where we are. On the way back to the RV Park we passed through a border patrol check point.
Today we are taking it easy. Watching a soccer game then going to lunch with friends in the area. 

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