San Xavier Mission, located just nine miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, is the country's finest example of Spanish colonial architecture. It was originally founded as a Franciscan Catholic Mission in 1692 and the current church building was eventually completed in 1797. The structure is built of clay brick, lime mortar and stone and has a unique roof design consisting of masonry vaults.
In the 1700's, Southern Arizona was included in New Spain, but with Mexican independence in 1821, the Mission became part of Mexico. With the Gadsden Purchase in 1854, San Xavier again changed countries and became part of the United States.
Today, the Mission still operates as a church. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It's free to visit and as an added bonus, on Sundays, freshly cooked native foods are for sale. Most famous are the fried breads which have delicious meats, chilis and fresh vegetable toppings and fillings. I really enjoyed my visit and I'm sure you will, too.