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St. Augustine Cathedral, Tucson

#3 of 14 in Historic Sites in Tucson
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Cathedral of Saint Augustine is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson. It is located in Tucson, Arizona.HistoryThe cathedral parish's history began with the founding of the chapel of the Royal Presidio of San Agustin in Tucson, which was constructed in 1776. By the 1850s, both the presidio and its chapel had fallen out of use, so Father Joseph Machebeuf was sent to survey the condition of the area in the 1860s. He advised the Bishop of Santa Fe that a priest should be assigned to the location, which had a population of 600 people.In 1862 or 1863, Father Donato Rogieri arrived from Santa Fe, New Mexico to the small village of Tucson. At the time, it consisted of little more than sun-baked adobe homes near the Santa Cruz River, with no house of worship. After services were over, Father Donato and his parishioners would go to the Solano Leon place (where the Manning House is now at) and pick up adobe bricks and carry them back to the site of the church and one brick placed on top of another was how the walls were constructed.Father Jean B. Salpointe was appointed as pastor of the new church in 1866. Work on the structure—commonly referred to as a cathedral, even then—was completed by 1868. The Holy See declared the territory of Arizona an apostolic vicariate later that year, and Salpointe was appointed Vicar Apostolic.The church was rebuilt by Bishop Peter Bourgade in 1897; the original plans called for a Gothic structure, but the spires were never completed. It was only in 1928 that the brick structure was transformed into its present Mexican baroque form, including the cast stone façade, which was inspired by the Cathedral of Querétaro, Mexico.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
123 reviews
  • This is an impressive building and reminded me of something in an old Western, except this is the real McCoy. It makes for an appreciation for the faith of the people 200 years ago,  more »
  • Unable to go inside....but lovely from outside. Ask about the owl above the door...there is a story.  more »
  • Its a beautiful church, but I visited after hours to look at all the paintings on the walls and windows, which were stunning. It echos but its lit softly, and it feels beautifully hushed. I have no idea what its like during service, but after with hardly anyone around? Its amazing
  • Beautiful church. The remodel and new church office turned out wonderfully. They may not be as fast as other churches about fulfilling religious document requests, but they will provide a thick paper document and place each record in an envelope for safe keeping. After all, the records usually have to be sent to another church if you're sponsoring a child. It does look professional to submit. My documents had a church stamp, a fresh signature, and an official church envelope to help prove authenticity to an out of state church. The religious documents can be ordered at the desk, provided that the religious event was performed at St. Augustine.... Price $5 each and copies need to be requested at the same time as ordering.

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