Tucson Cultural Attractions
Tucson is a beautiful city that’s rich in history and culture. Residents and visitors alike can learn much about the history of the city and the culture of the American Southwest by going to cultural attractions in Tucson. Here are five Tucson cultural attractions to visit to help you better appreciate the history that went into the making of this unique city.
Mission San Xavier del Bac
Founded in 1692 and built during the years of 1783-1797 by both Spanish colonialists and Native Americans, the Mission San Xavier del Bac is a stunning example of Spanish Colonial architecture right here in America. The outside of the church is white and boasts a Moorish-inspired design, but don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the interior, which is covered with colorful paintings, frescos, and carvings and filled with statues.
Admission is free, but be sure to visit between the hours of 7 AM to 5 PM. If you want to attend mass, check their website for times and dates.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona was founded in 1885 and was the first university in the state. Today, it is a renowned research university that is also 380 acres of green space. It is the oldest continually maintained green space in Arizona, a fact made even more amazing when you realize that the campus is right in the middle of the Sonoran desert.
Also, don’t miss the fascinating museums on campus, such as the UA Museum of Art and the Center for Creative Photography. That’s not all — there’s also the Arizona State Museum, the Jim Click Hall of Champions, the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, the Arizona History Museum, and more. Learn more about the museums and the artistic performances, the science and astronomy attractions, campus walking tours, and the sporting events on campus by checking out this great visitor guide.
Spend an afternoon strolling around in the Barrio Historico, which was built in the 19th century, to appreciate the beauty of adobe architecture. Just don’t forget to bring your camera! Barrio Historico is a colorful residential neighborhood with a sprinkling of shops in the warehouse district south of Broadway. You could browse through the shops and take pictures of colorful buildings by yourself, but a walking tour with a guide would be more enriching and teach you a lot about Tucson history. The Arizona Historical Society provides tours to Barrio Historico and other Tucson cultural attractions, but you can visit anytime you’d like.
St. Augustine Cathedral
The mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, the St. Augustine Cathedral was founded in 1776 and built by 1868. However, it was rebuilt in 1897 and then transformed from a brick structure into its current Mexican baroque architecture. Visit this beautiful cathedral that was inspired by the great Cathedral of Queretaro in Mexico and you’ll appreciate the murals and stained glass windows inside.
Pima County Courthouse
Built in 1930 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture, the Pima County Courthouse is still a working courthouse, so you probably won’t be able to enter unless you’re part of a tour (try asking the security office inside). However, the building, with its bright blue dome and spectacular architecture, is worth the sight. Make sure to see the courthouse when you’re walking around downtown Tucson.
If you enjoy art, culture, and history, you’ll definitely appreciate the Tucson cultural attractions listed here, and many more. The city is full of history and beautiful architecture, making it a great city to live and visit.
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