A guide book about Arizona and its main cities: Phoenix and Tucson.
Arizona is a state of 295 000 km² and populated by 6.4 million inhabitants in 2010. It consists of two important geographical regions, namely the Colorado Plateau in the North and the Sonora Desert in the South. This arid land is well known for its cactus, especially the giant Saguaro.
Arizona possessed national monuments such as Canyon de Chelly, Montezuma Castle and Organ Pipe Cactus and three national parks :
- Grand Canyon
- Petrified Forest
Water in Phoenix, Tucson and other cities is provided through the Central Arizona Project, a 540 km-long canal bringing the water of the Colorado river from lake Havasu to Phoenix and Tucson.
Phoenix is the capital of the state of Arizona.
The new tramway of Phoenix opened in 2008. It has one 32-km-long line.
Arizona State University
Founded in 1885, it is the largest public university in the USA in terms of enrollment, with about 72 000 students. Its mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil and its colors maroon and gold.
The cathedral Saints-Simon-and-Jude was built in 1966. It is made of bricks and the interior has round shapes. It was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1987 and Mother Teresa in 1989.
Saint Stephen's Byzantine cathedral
Saint Stephen's cathedral is the see of the Byzantine Catholic diocese of Phoenix. This Eastern church has beautiful icons and stained glass windows. Behind it is a columbarium.
The church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in 1881 and became a basilica in 1987, before the visit of Pope John Paul II.
It was founded by the French father Édouard Gérard, the first ordained priest in Arizona. It has a mission revival and Spanish colonial revival style.
The bishopric is located just near the basilica from which it is separated by a pleasant garden.
Immaculate Heart church
The church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was founded in 1928. It was placed on the National Register of the Historic Places in 1993.
The Orpheum theatre
This beautiful building of Spanish Baroque architecture was built between 1925 and 1929 and restored between 1984 and 1997.
Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona after Phoenix, with a population of about 500 000 people for the city and about 1 million for the metropolitan area in 2013. The town is located 170 km southeast of Phoenix and 100 km north of the Mexican border.
The Mission San Xavier del Bac was founded there in 1700 by father Eusebio Francisco Kino, a Jesuit missionary. The founding father of Tucson is Hugo O'Conor, a Spanish military governor, who ordered the construction of a military fort 12 km upstream from the mission, Presidio San Augustin del Tucson, in 1775.
The city is about 590 km² and is about 800 m above sea level, in the Sonoran desert, on the dry riverbed of Santa Cruz River. It is surrounded by mountains:
- the Santa Catalina Mountains and the Tortolita Mountains at the North
- the Rincon Mountains at the East
- the Santa Rita Mountains at the South
- the Tucson Mountains at the West
Tucson has an international airport. Some tourism airplanes can also be found there.
Tucson has several bus routes. Some of the bus stops are designed like Saguaro cactus!
A tramway line will open in 2013.
Tucson's train station is located close to the downtown. The railroad arrived in Tucson in 1880. The depot was built in 1907, modernized in 1941 and restored in 2004. Only a few trains stop there each week. Near the station, a museum explains the history of railroad in Tucson and in the USA.
The steam locomotive #1673 is a Mogul machine of type 2-6-0 that was built in 1900 and made more than 1 million miles. It is exposed in front of the old depot museum.
University of Arizona
This university was founded in 1885 and enrolls approximately 40 000 students. Its sports team is called "Arizona Wildcats".
Saint Augustine cathedral
This church is located in the downtown and was constructed on a former chapel between 1866 and 1868, rebuild in 1897 and partially reconstructed between 1966 and 1968. Its style is called Mexican baroque.
The narthex contains trompe l'œil paintings representing saints. The building contains altarpieces with sculptures of Teresa de Calcutta and Our Lady of Guadalupe as well as a crucifix from Pamplona dating from the 12th century.
The upper stained glass windows represent the symbols of the twelve apostles and the lower the lives of saints.
Mission San Xavier
Mission San Xavier del Bac was founded in 1692 by the Jesuit missionary father Eusebio Kino (born in Italy in 1645). The mission was dedicated to the Christianization of the Piman people. Between 1701 and 1767, 9 Jesuit priests were successively in charge of the mission. In 1768, they were then replaced by Franciscan friars. The current structure, built between 1783 and 1797, is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona.
The church has a baroque style. The inside is decorated with magnificent retables, sculptures and frescos.
Next to the church stands a small chapel.
On the hill next to the mission, a replica of Lourdes' cave can be admired. From the top of the hill, one can enjoy a nice view of the mission and the surrounding fields.
Saint-Cyril's church is a quite modern church located on Swan Road and Pima Street. It is accompagnied by a school.
Saint-John-the-Evangelist's church is a quite modern church located on Ajo Way and 12th Avenue. It was contructed in 1949 and is accompagnied by a school.
Saint-Joseph's church is a quite modern church located on Craycroft Road and Broadway Boulevard. It is accompagnied by a school.
Saint-Thomas-the-Apostle's church is a quite modern church located on the North of the city, near Swan Road. It is accompagnied by a preschool.
Its stained glass windows are quite simple and represent saints and angels.
By 2013, a tramway will be constructed and link the city center to the campus.
The Pima County Courthouse was build in 1929. Its dome is covered with glossy tiles.
This fort, contructed in 1873 in the North-East of the current town, is a place of major importance for the history of the city. Except during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the American Civil War (1861-1865), most of the military activity of the region was against the Apaches, who raided other tribes, such as the Papagos, and settlers during the 17th and until the 1880s. The Apaches were fought by cavalry troops (rarely infantry) and Indians enlisted as scouts. The Fort was abandoned in 1891 and only remain ruins of the fort and of its hospital (16 beds, 21 men serving), transformed into a museum.
Wives, children and employees also lived in or near the Fort. The adobe houses of the first Mexican community, El Fuerte are also visible. In the 1890s, the Mormons built an irrigation system for their farms.
On the Fort Lowell Day, the neighborhood organises an event to remember the Fort and make people discover its history.
A tiny chapel was constructed near to the Fort in 1915. In 1917, it was replaced by a bigger one, Santo Angel de la Guarda, which was destroyed by a tornado. The San Pedro chapel replaced it in 1929 and is taken care of by the Carmelite fathers of Tucson. In 1948, Saint-Cyril's church became the church of the parish.
Very close to San Pedro chapel stands a capilla, constructed in 1915 and rebuilt in 1997.
Archaeological excavations have revealed tools and pottery sherds that belonged to the Hohokam people, in the 11th century.
Benson is a small city located southeast of Tucson. It was founded in 1880 and serves as a rail terminal. It has an Amtrak station.
The church of Our Lady of Lourdes is a nice modern church accompagnied by a small replica of the cave of Lourdes.
Patagonia is a small city located near Sierra Vista and Sonoita. It was formerly deserved by trains, but the track was destroyed by a flood in 1929 and rebuilt at another place. The abandoned depot was acquired in 1965 by the Rotary club, restored and moved out of the way of State Route 82. It now serves as the municipal court. An old semaphore of the Southern Pacific Railroad still remains near the building.
Santa Teresa's church
Santa Teresa's church is a modern church made of bricks. The entrance doors are sculpted with angels and a statue of Saint Therese is placed above them.
The chapel of the Holy Cross
This modern and small chapel was imagined in 1932 by Marguerite Brunswig Staude and improved by Lloyd Wright. It was finally built on this site between April 1955 and April 1956. It is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This city, whose name means "Mountain View", has about 45 000 inhabitants in 2013. It is well known for its parks in which hundreds of species of hummingbirds live.
This recent church is remarkable and has a mission revival style.
Cette page en anglais a été créée par Peter à partir de notes de voyage, le 9 janvier 2013 et modifiée pour la dernière fois le 25 août 2020. Son avancement est noté 3/3.