Guevavi Mission Ruins

Also known as: San Gabriel de Guevavi, Los Santos Angeles de Guevavi, Mission
6 mi. N of U.S.-Mexican border, Nogales, Arizona


San Gabriel de Guevavi

1. Historic American Buildings Survey Frederick D. Nichols, Photographer August 1937. GENERAL VIEW LOOKING NORTH

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress



The site of Mission Los Santos Angeles de Guavavi, which presently consists of the ruins of an adobe church and "convento", is associated with the 17th and 18th century Society of Jesus (Jesuit) missionary efforts to Christianize and acculturate the Piman Indian groups on the northwest frontier of New Spain in what in now southern Arizona. This site was the first "cabecera," or head church, to be founded by the Jesuit religious order in this area and represents the northern-most extension of the Jesuit mission chain. The extant ruins were constructed in 1745-1751 and abandoned in 1773. The mission base established by the Jesuit fathers in Pimeria Alta were stepping stones from which the succeeding Franciscans settled California. -- National Historic Landmark statement of significance, June 21, 1990

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 5, 1971
Reference number
Areas of significance
Archeology - Aboriginal; Ethnic Heritage - Native American; Archeology - Non-Aboriginal; Exploration/Settlement; Ethnic Heritage - Hispanic; Religion
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person; D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Unoccupied land
Periods of significance
1650-1699; 1700-1749; 1750-1799
Significant years
1751; 1775

Update Log 

  • June 13, 2018: New photo from Bill Eichelberger